Senator Markey Reacts to President Trump’s First State of the Union Address
Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Carbonite CEO Mohamad Ali; January 30, 2018
Washington (January 30, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement after President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address. Senator Markey’s guest to the event this year was Mohamad Ali, President and Chief Executive Officer of Carbonite, a Massachusetts-based data protection company. Ali grew up in Guyana and came to the United States with his mother when he was 11 years old with $34 dollars in their pockets. Since that time, Ali became a U.S. citizen, graduated with dual degrees, held leadership positions in technology companies, and now as CEO of Carbonite, serves as one of the digital economy’s strongest advocates for net neutrality.
Below is the statement of Senator Markey:
“I was honored to be joined at tonight’s State of the Union by Mohamad Ali, a uniquely American story of diversity, hard work, and success. It is immigrants like Mohamad and companies like Carbonite that are the foundation for the growing, thriving technology sector that is fueling the Massachusetts economy. I hope President Trump looked up into the crowd during his remarks, saw Mohamad and the faces of dozens of other guests, and realized that immigration is the lifeblood of our economy and that we are stronger as a nation when we embrace these communities and create pathways for their success.
“Despite tonight’s call for unity, President Trump’s rhetoric about immigrants was rife with the politics of division, targeted squarely at placating the extreme right of his party. We can protect our young Dreamers right now, and not at the expense of legal immigration. We need a long-term budget deal that protects our Dreamers and provides funding for our community health centers, the opioid crisis, and disaster relief to Puerto Rico. It is unconscionable for President Trump and Republicans to use this budget deal as a ransom note for young immigrants who know no other home than the United States.
“President Trump spent a good deal of his remarks taking credit for the progress our country has made as a result of President Obama’s economic agenda, but his tax law and larger economic agenda would only gut the investments we’ve made in working-class families and the most vulnerable in our society. I will fight to protect Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the Affordable Care Act, and work to fix the partisan tax law so that middle class families get permanent tax relief, not just a temporary bump.
“It has been a year since President Trump promised to put real resources toward combatting the opioid crisis, but his administration hasn’t committed a single penny of new funding to help our communities suffering from this scourge. Asking our states, cities, and towns to continue fighting this epidemic of opioid overdoses without additional federal funding is irresponsible, cruel and will come back to haunt us. We do not need President Trump to promise a new war on drugs; we need funding for our cities and towns.
“President Trump says he has ended the so-called war on coal, but he’s really declared a war on clean energy. Withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, repeal of the Clean Power Plan, opening up pristine coastline to offshore drilling, and a job-killing solar tariff are only a few of the litany of sins President Trump has committed against clean air, clean water, and climate action. We need the President to embrace a clean energy economy that creates jobs and ensures American climate leadership around the world.
“President Trump is correct that a comprehensive infrastructure bill is an opportunity to invest in America’s future and create jobs, but not if it undermines environmental laws, erodes worker protections, and only benefits hedge funds and Wall Street investors. We need $1.5 trillion in direct spending to clear the national backlog of structurally deficient bridges, expand broadband to our rural communities, eliminate the maintenance backlog for our roads, rail and transit systems, address our water infrastructure needs, and rebuild America’s schools.
“No one doubts the strength of America’s current nuclear deterrent. President Trump’s proposal to drastically expand our nuclear arsenal is needless, destabilizing, and increases the risk of nuclear war. Instead of wasting taxpayer money on new nuclear weapons and ignoring other important defense priorities, the United States should instead exercise international leadership by cutting unnecessary and destabilizing nuclear weapons systems. In the 21st century, our national security would be better served by funding education, not annihilation.
“We have an opportunity to work together – the President, Congress and the American people – on immigration, on infrastructure, on health care, on the opioid crisis and other priorities, but only if President Trump is willing to compromise. Tonight, President Trump asked Congress ‘to set aside our differences and seek out common ground’ - I hope he will take his own advice.”