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Walden, Wyden, Merkley offer reactions to State of the Union

WASHINGTON (KTVZ) - In what's become an expected symbol of the partisan divide in Congress -- and, one could argue, the country -- Oregon's outgoing 2nd District Republican congressman sharply differed with the state's two Democratic senators in reactions to President Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Rep. Greg Walden, the Hood River Republican who won't be seeking re-election this year, posted a YouTube video of his reaction to the president's address, with the brightly lit U.S. Capitol as a backdrop.

"Well, seldom have I seen a president do such a great job of putting human faces -- real human faces -- on the problems, challenges and things to celebrate about America as President Trump did tonight," Walden said.

"Look, he has a great story to tell," the congressman continued. "When you look at the impact of his policies to strengthen our defense, to take out terrorists, to rewrite trade agreements and make them better, to grow the American economy, this president and those of us who have supported his policies are really making a difference for the country.

"We know there's work to do going forward. We know there are challenges our nation faces, but none we can't overcome," Walden said.

"But the record of success that the president focused on tonight, I think, is one for the history books: the lowest unemployment in 50 years, strong economic growth predicted, breakthroughs in medical research, you can go on and on and on - this president has delivered on his promises," he concluded.

Sen. Ron Wyden released the following statement:

“If you want to see what Donald Trump would do with four more years, look back at his record of ignoring the problems typical families face over the last three.

“Trump’s key legislative accomplishment is a tax handout for multinational corporations, special interests and the wealthy, and he expects working families to praise him for it. With another term, he’ll send those working families and seniors the bill for his $2 trillion tax giveaway and claw back their hard earned health care and Social Security benefits.

"Americans are still getting mugged by drug companies every time they walk up to the pharmacy counter, but Trump hasn’t lifted a finger to lower drug prices, and has even discarded his campaign promise to let Medicare negotiate. His administration’s recent attack on Medicaid is just the latest example of how it’s shredding the safety net and making it harder for millions of Americans to get ahead.

“Bottom line, the Trump administration has been a terrific success at helping the powerful and wealthy build on their power and wealth, but it has failed at addressing the key kitchen table issues that keep typical Americans up at night.” Wyden concluded.

Sen. Jeff Merkley released the following statement:

“This State of the Union took place under the shadow of an impeachment trial that has clearly become a cover-up. President Trump may have intended to use tonight’s speech to divert Americans’ attention from the cloud that hangs over his presidency, but no words can distract from the corruption of his attempts to pressure a foreign government to intervene in our election.

“Tonight’s speech only reinforces that while President Trump ran on a ‘drain the swamp’ platform, he has spent the last three years becoming the most corrupt American president in modern history. From prescription drug prices, to Social Security and Medicare, to a tax scheme that gave away our national treasury to the wealthiest, the pattern has been clear: When rich and powerful special interests come knocking, President Trump won’t hesitate to sell out working Americans for his own political benefit.

"This unchecked corruption has come to a head in President Trump’s own self-dealing, attempting to use the power of the U.S. government to cheat in the 2020 election.

“Our democracy has survived for over two centuries because honest public servants have come together, regardless of party affiliation, to insist on a government of, by, and for the people. Today, we face another key juncture in the great American story. May the path ahead be one of restored integrity and partnership in tackling the great challenges facing America,” Merkley concluded.

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