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Michigan Delegation Responds To President Trump's Address

Donald Trump
PBS NewsHour
President Donald J. Trump addresses the nation from the Oval Office on January 8, 2019.

Positive and negative reaction to President Donald Trump's oval office address to nation fell along party lines among members of Michigan's congressional delegation.

President Donald Trump is arguing that building a southern border wall would be an act of "love." Trump, in an Oval Office address Tuesday night, made another pitch to fulfill his signature campaign promise of building a wall at the Mexican border. Trump suggested that other people, including rich liberals, build walls "not because they hate the people outside but because they love the people inside."


Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer says President Donald Trump should reopen government while talks continue over the U.S.-Mexico border wall because there's "no excuse for hurting millions of Americans." Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered the Democratic response to Trump's Oval Office address Tuesday.


Following the speech, Rep. Tim Walberg (R) of the 7th congressional district praised Trump's message. 


"Safeguarding our southern border is imperative to national security," tweeted Walberg on Tuesday night. 


The Republican's message for new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, was negative. 


"Rather than more obstruction, it is time for Speaker Pelosi and her caucus to stop shortchanging border security. Let's get serious about finding a solution that will keep America safe and put an end to this partial shutdown."


On Wednesday, 8th congressional district Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D) issued this response to the President's address:

"The President re-iterated his case in his speech -- but offered no solutions to re-open the government, nor fix our broken immigration system. As someone who has worked on protecting the Homeland my entire professional life, I'm a big believer in enhancing border security -- so it's time to get in a room, and hammer out a deal to end this shutdown."


Rep. Dan Kildee (D) of 5th congressional district disagreed with the President's speech.


“The President manufactured a crisis 18 days ago and plunged our country into a government shutdown," said Rep. Kildee. "Tonight, the President proved he does not care about pulling us out of the mess he created. It is shameful that the President is using our nation’s public servants, including thousands of workers in Michigan, as pawns in a political game." 


U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, also a Democrat, echoed similar sentiments in a post-speech tweet.


"Nothing new after the President's speech tonight," tweeted Sen. Stabenow. "We all support strong border security and can continue to debate what that looks like. But it's time for President Trump to end this shutdown."


U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D) also spelled out specifics in his response on Twitter.


"Congress must secure both our Northern and Southern borders, including adding personnel at points of entry and utilizing more cost-effective technology," wrote Sen. Peters.

President Trump said Tuesday night that all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal immigration. He says it strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages.

The president says among those hit hardest by illegal immigration are African-Americans and Hispanics, though he did not provide any evidence to back that up.

The president is trying to convince Americans that the flow of immigrants into the U.S. illegally at the southern border is a crisis.

The White House says President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will meet with Republican senators at the Capitol on Wednesday as the partial government shutdown continues.

House Democrats have passed a plan to re-open the government without funding Trump's promised border wall, but the Republican-led Senate has so far declined to take it up.


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