U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey wants more cooperation from Democrats.
Sen. Bob Casey wants President Donald Trump to cooperate with Democrats.
Rep. Tom Marino wants to cooperate with the president, but said nothing about doing that with Democrats.
Rep. Lou Barletta wants everybody to cooperate.
Rep. Matt Cartwright can see himself cooperating with the president under the right circumstances.
In their official statements after the president’s first address to a joint session of Congress, they all talked about getting things done.
Here are summaries of their official statements reacting to the president’s address.
TOOMEY: The Republican senator said he and the president agree about “rolling back unnecessary regulations,” “fixing the horrendously complicated and unfair tax code,” “protect(ing) our communities from violent criminals, including those who are here illegally” and “ensuring America maintains a strong military.”
“I was heartened tonight to hear President Trump’s commitment to ensuring that poor children trapped in failing public schools should have the same educational opportunities–and the same chance to escape crime and poverty–as middle class and wealthy children,” Toomey said .
“The American people overwhelmingly want the Democrats to take the same approach— to reach across the aisle and look to cooperate with President Trump where possible,” he said. “I hope my Democrat colleagues will look at each discrete issue, work constructively, and then decide whether or not to support an idea based on its merits. Unfortunately, some of my friends on the other side of the aisle may be hearing a call to promote gridlock.”
CASEY: The Democratic senator chastised the president for having “stocked his cabinet with architects of schemes to end the guaranteed benefit of Medicare, decimate Medicaid and privatize Social Security.”
He mentioned his guest for the evening, “Marine veteran Joe McGrath of Lafayette Hill. “Joe McGrath’s teenage daughter, Maura, has Down syndrome and will be adversely impacted by the Republican plan to destroy Medicaid by turning it into a block-grant program, which cuts $1 trillion dollars out of this critical program for the vulnerable,” Casey said.
He also ripped the president for making a priority of “cutting taxes for billionaires, millionaires and big corporations at the expense of funding programs that are vital to the middle class.”
Instead, he said, the president should focus on “the infrastructure plan that he promised during the campaign and the renegotiation of bad trade deals that stack the decks against workers” and stop trying to undo the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act “without offering any specific replacement plan.”
“If President Trump is ready to get serious and fight for policies that make sure Pennsylvania’s workers and middle class families get a fair shot, then I am willing to work with him,” Casey said. “However, if President Trump continues to go along with the extreme agenda of Congressional Republicans then I will keep holding him accountable.”
MARINO: The 10th district Republican congressman from Lycoming County called the president “a strong leader who has a vision for making our country stronger.”
“I look forward to working with the President on more legislation that replaces Obamacare with a more cost effective and patient centered plan, ensures that those entering our country are doing so the right way, provides our middle class families much needed tax relief and works to bring jobs back to our country,” Marino said.
Yep, that was pretty much all he said.
BARLETTA: The 11th district Republican congressman praised the president for delivering “an optimistic strategy for moving our country forward>”
“The principal responsibility of the federal government is to protect national security, and President Trump tonight reinforced that keeping the American people safe will be his administration’s top priority,” Barletta said.
He agreed with the president’s proposals to beef up the military, ensure good and safe schools for children and “putting Americans back to work” by enforcing immigration laws, cutting regulations, massively cutting middle-class taxes, fixing the nation’s aging roads, bridges, airports and other infrastructure, and replacing the Affordable Care Act “with a health care system that is affordable and accessible.”
“President Trump’s message was one that I hope all of my colleagues heard loud and clear. The American people expect Congress to work together for the betterment of the nation, not a political party or special interest,” he said.
CARTWRIGHT: In an interview, the 17th district congressman from Moosic said the address exceeded his expectations, but mainly because “that’s what happens when you set such a low bar with your first, inauguration address.”
“I’m not kidding. That was one of the darkest, almost nightmarish inauguration addresses that’s ever been given in the history of our republic,” he said.
The speech Monday was “a hopeful one, a tone of uplifting, a promising and optimistic view of the future of the country,” Cartwright said.
He heard the president present the same “grand, sweeping promises” he made during the campaign without a lot of detail, which he didn’t expect anyway.
He figures he might cooperate on infrastructure spending but not if the president insists on funding that with huge tax credits for large corporations.
“I’m in favor of repealing regulations that are more burdensome than they’re worth,” Cartwright said. “And there are a lot of those, but you have to be practical, you have to be sensible. You have to leave ideology at the door … If you take it (the speech) at its face value, I agreed with so many things that he said. In fact, I gave him more than a half dozen standing ovations myself, but the devil’s in the details.”
All they need now: get things done.
— BORYS KRAWCZENIUK