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Rep. Tsongas Responds to State of the Union Address

For Immediate Release

Contact:  Katie Enos, 978.459.0101

 

Rep. Tsongas Responds to State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON, DC –January 30, 2018 – Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (MA-03) released the following statement tonight responding to President Trump’s first State of the Union address.  Rep. Tsongas invited Isa Woldeguiorguis, Executive Director of The Center for Hope and Healing in Lowell, MA, to the State of the Union Address in Washington, D.C. as her guest.

“I was deeply skeptical heading into this speech that the President could in one night restore trust in his administration and renew a meaningful dialogue on the many pressing issues demanding our attention. 

“A plan to fund government is five months overdue, we are governing from crisis to crisis, and a growing list of needs – that have support from both Democrats and Republicans – have lapsed such as: addressing the opioid epidemic; protecting the DREAMers; funding veterans’ infrastructure and services; reauthorizing community health centers; saving Americans’ endangered pensions; and providing disaster recovery funding.

“The absence of concrete proposals, with yet another looming deadline approaching next week, and doubling down on divisive rhetoric, did not assuage that skepticism.

“But, despite these deep misgivings, I was encouraged and heartened by the more than one hundred individuals who attended the speech at the invitation of my Democratic colleagues to courageously ensure that the President’s message is not the only message delivered tonight.

“The House gallery was filled with people from across this country who this administration has failed by abandoning DREAMers, undermining our economy with devastating consequences for middle class families, perpetuating a culture that disparages a woman’s experience, discriminating against people for their sexual orientation, or offending and damaging relationships with our allies and eroding our moral authority in the world. 

“Their presence at this speech serves as an imposing counterweight to the President’s attempt to put a positive spin on his first year in office.  And, their stories, from their perspective, deserve to be heard and shared and amplified.

“One of those people in the gallery tonight was Isa Woldeguiorguis, Executive Director of the Center for Hope and Healing in Lowell, Massachusetts.  For decades, Isa has been a leader in the movement to end sexual and domestic violence.  She joined me tonight as my guest, standing in solidarity with those seeking a cultural shift that enables men and women to live and work side by side in safety and dignity.

“I hope the President heeds these voices, works to restore trust with Congress and comes together with Democrats in good faith to make progress on the priorities that the American people are demanding we accomplish.”

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