WASHINGTON, D.C.— Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement in advance of President Trump’s State of the Union address:

“At tonight’s State of the Union, where President Trump will have the opportunity to lay out his Administration’s vision and plans for the coming year, I worry the President will once again prioritize appeasing his base instead of putting the interests of the entire country first. On the heels of the longest shutdown in our country’s history, caused by the President’s arbitrary demand for billions to build his border wall, he should use this unique platform to talk about meaningful solutions to the true challenges facing Americans. Our national priorities must include affordable health care, fighting climate change, addressing the rising cost of housing for middle class Americans, rebuilding our infrastructure, and increasing access to education.

“His recent addresses to the nation during the shutdown were riddled with mischaracterizations and lies about immigrants and our border. I hope the President will refrain from his campaign-style rhetoric about immigrants that is rooted in intolerance and racism, and instead talk about meaningful reforms to our immigration system focused on what works while making the case that the United States values the lives and dignity of immigrants. Additionally, with the government funding deadline less than two weeks away, the President should reassure federal workers and the American people that he won’t shut down the government again over a wall that he has failed to convince Congress and the American people is needed.

“The President should also be honest about our economic situation. More must be done to ensure that our economy works for everyone, not just the wealthiest and most fortunate. Income inequality in America continues to grow as wages stagnate and wealth becomes more concentrated in the hands of fewer Americans. The recent Trump tax cuts have further ballooned our federal deficit, at the expense of working families and led to a trillion in stock buybacks with very little investment in our nation’s workers. We should be working to enact policies that create broad-based economic opportunity for every American, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or the zip code where they were born, not providing wealthy shareholders with profit windfalls. 

“Democrats are ready to rebuild our economy and are prepared to meet the challenges of the future. The President needs to show he stands for more than empty promises and fear-mongering. Our country deserves leadership that brings us together and delivers real solutions for hard-working American families.”