Valley lawmakers respond to State of the Union Address

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBN and the Associated Press) – President Donald Trump is challenging Congress to make good on a long-standing promise to fix the immigration system.

In his first State of the Union address, Trump also warned that deadly gangs, drugs and violent immigrants are threatening the American way of life. Yet he called for optimism amid a growing economy and gave himself credit for it.

Trump cast the debate over immigration as a battle between heroes and villains, leaning heavily on the personal stories of White House guests in the crowd. He praised a law enforcement agent who arrested more than 100 gang members, and he recognized the families of two alleged gang victims.

He also spoke with foreboding of catastrophic dangers from abroad, warning that North Korea would “very soon” threaten the U.S. with nuclear-tipped missiles.

Trump also touted the record stock market activity over the last year and the lowest unemployment rates for African Americans.

As the President delivered his remarks there was a distinct line drawn down the middle of the room. Standing ovations, cheers and applause from the Republicans and stoic, muted responses from Democrats.

Locally, Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, said America got to hear the accomplishments of the last year for themselves and “not through the filter of the mainstream media.”

“I don’t think you can find anything about this speech that you didn’t like if you love America. I mean the president talked about what makes America great, not big government, not bureaucracy but the strength and the abdominal spirit of the American people,” Johnson said.  “From unlocking American energy and ending the War on Coal, to transforming the Department of Veterans Affairs, to eliminating job-killing regulations, and enacting historic tax reform legislation, there is a lot to celebrate from President Trump’s first year in office.”

Congressman Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, was in attendance at the State of the Union Address but left his guest seat empty, he said, in honor of Amer “Al” Adi, a Youngstown businessman who was deported this week for not having legal citizenship in the United States, after living in here for 39 years. Ryan said the president’s remarks can be summed up in one word: more of the same.

“Although polished and read with a teleprompter, the rhetoric, fear mongering, and falsehoods that President Trump so often leans on when facts elude him was as prevalent as ever,” Ryan said. “The President was carried into the White House in large part due to the promises he made to American workers – to fight for them every day so that their wages would rise, their pensions secured, and their futures brighter. He lied to them. And he’s done nothing but work against them since day one.”

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