PLATTSMOUTH – Opinions of President Trump’s State of the Union speech differed greatly between Nebraska’s Republican Congressional delegation and the head of the state’s Democratic Party.
While U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., said Trump laid out a hopeful vision for the future, NDP Chair Jane Kleeb said the speech focused on the president’s “ridiculous” demand for a wall and his attack of people seeking asylum in this country.
Fischer, in her statement through her office, said she agreed with the president’s desire for more cooperation and consensus in Washington.
“We can and should work together to strengthen our national defense, invest in infrastructure, bring down the cost of health care, and open up new opportunities for agriculture producers,” she said. “I remain committed to bridging the divide and delivering results to improve the lives of Nebraskans and all Americans.”
Similar thoughts were expressed from U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-1st District).
“I thought the overall tone of the State of the Union was conciliatory,” Fortenberry said. “I thought the president was inviting Congress to some consensus – and on many issues, we should have consensus, such as lowered drug prices, infrastructure, and trade deals.”
There was one exception that stood out in his mind, Fortenberry said. “Clearly the president wanted to make a strong case for border security in order to set the new preconditions for better outcomes in the next road of budget negotiations.”
Nebraska’s other U.S. senator, Ben Sasse, also a Republican, appreciated Trump’s stand on abortion.
“It was encouraging to hear the president condemn the kind of cruelty we’ve seen recently from New York’s extreme abortion laws,” Sasse said through his office. “Pro-life Nebraskans should be encouraged to hear the president call on Congress to protect the dignity of every individual and build a culture that values life.”
The speech wasn’t encouraging to Kleeb.
“President Trump started and ended with lofty language sandwiched between predictable rhetoric about his broken promise of the wall that Mexico was to fund,” Kleeb said through her office.
“Farmers are confronting climate change by growing biofuels and installing wind and solar on land across Nebraska. And yet, President Trump did not mention a peep about his empty promise on E-15 to grow the industry in ag states that is helping rebuild rural America.
“While Trump stayed on the teleprompter speech written for him, he ultimately, and inevitably, focused on his ridiculous demand for a wall and his attack of people seeking asylum in this country from wars, abuse and untold violence. He attacked women’s right to choose. He flicked way his reckless trade policies that are stifling rural America’s struggle to survive. His speech was filled with fear-mongering towards immigrants and a rehash of his stump speech.”