Washington, DC – Following President Trump’s address to a Joint Session of Congress, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released the following statement:
“President Trump’s first 40 days in office have been an opportunity to keep his promises to workers and middle class families across Pennsylvania. His speech tonight did not demonstrate that he will. This evening, I was joined by a Pennsylvanian, Marine veteran Joe McGrath of Lafayette Hill, whose family will be directly impacted by the declarations that President Trump has made. 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. During the campaign, President Trump promised to protect programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Medicaid is vital to seniors, those with disabilities and those who are low income. Despite that campaign promise, President Trump has stocked his cabinet with architects of schemes to end the guaranteed benefit of Medicare, decimate Medicaid and privatize Social Security.
In his address tonight, President Trump indicated that one of his first priorities would be cutting taxes for billionaires, millionaires and big corporations at the expense of funding programs that are vital to the middle class. Instead of more tax giveaways for those at the very top, President Trump should prioritize the infrastructure plan that he promised during the campaign and the renegotiation of bad trade deals that stack the decks against workers. During his address, President Trump continued to promote repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) without offering any specific replacement plan. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, repealing the ACA without a replacement could increase premiums by 20%. How will he ensure that 156 million Americans with employer sponsored coverage continue to be provided all the consumer protections in the ACA, like those for pre-existing conditions? Instead of this fixation on repeal, President Trump and Congressional Republicans should work in a bipartisan way to keep what’s working in health care and fix what isn’t.
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. However, if President Trump continues to go along with the extreme agenda of Congressional Republicans then I will keep holding him accountable.”