Lawmakers react to Trump's joint address to Congress

Reactions to the president's first joint address diverged sharply by party.

ByABC News
March 1, 2017, 12:01 AM

— -- President Donald Trump's first address to a joint session of Congress received mixed reactions from lawmakers on Tuesday night.

Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said in a statement, "That was a home run. President Trump delivered a bold, optimistic message to the American people. We now have a government unified around a simple but important principle: Empowering the people — not Washington — is the way to build a better future for our country."

But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., expressed the opposite sentiment, tweeting that Trump's speech "was utterly disconnected from the cruel reality of his conduct."

Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., said in a statement that he appreciated Trump's speech and hoped hat it will get both parties to work together. "I appreciate the president highlighting some of the work he and Congress are pursuing to empower America's families and job creators," it read. "I am hopeful that both parties can find areas of common ground moving forward to achieve this positive, pro-growth agenda.”

Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., echoed Ryan's remarks, saying in a statement, "President Trump has hit the ground running and is keeping his promises to the American people. He has put the needs of Americans first, and the results he's already achieved have brought forward a renewed spirit of optimism in our country."

While praising Trump's speech in separate remarks, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, took to Twitter, saying, "We should honor the promise we made to the American People -- #FullRepeal of Obamacare."

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., took to Facebook Live to respond to Trump's joint address, focusing on "what he didn't say."

"I did not hear President Trump say one word — not one word — about Social Security or Medicare," Sanders said. "I urge President Trump, keep your promises. Tell the American people, tweet to the American people that you will not cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid."

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., tweeted, "Trump's wall is a waste of money and an insult to our values," with the hashtags "#NoBanNoWall" and "#JointSession."

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., tweeted, "Families shouldn't be forced to live in fear. We must fight back against President Trump's hateful immigration policies. #Jointsession."

A number of celebrities also took to social media, with mixed responses, to Trump's joint address. Actor George Takei tweeted in the middle of the speech, "Sorry, just had to get up to go throw up."

Comedian Billy Eichner responded to Trump's remarks on immigration by tweeting, "I cannot even tell you how much more scared I am of Trump, [chief strategist Steve] Bannon and [senior policy adviser Stephen] Miller than I am of the average illegal immigrant."

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