AFSCME President Lee Saunders issued the following statement in response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address:
“More than ever, people across the country are looking to Washington to empower their communities and lift up working families. If the president is truly committed to the bipartisan unity he talked about in his speech, he should abandon the threat of another disastrous government shutdown and take a declaration of national emergency off the table. It’s time to stop with the stunts and the gamesmanship. The president’s obsessive pursuit of an unpopular border wall threatens to paralyze the country and endanger our democracy.
Sidelining federal employees and jeopardizing their economic security is no way to make America great. It’s time to re-invest in public services instead of compromising them. That means a bold infrastructure plan that creates jobs – strengthening our schools, roads and energy grid, without privatization or outsourcing schemes.
At a moment when we need to increase access to health care, the president continues to denigrate and undermine the Affordable Care Act. At a moment when nearly unprecedented income inequality jeopardizes the American Dream, the president continues to seek cuts in domestic programs to pay for more than $1 trillion in tax breaks for wealthy corporations. President Trump and the GOP said their tax cuts would mostly benefit the middle class and small businesses, but now working families are shocked as they pay their taxes and actually owe more.
This is a moment to rebuild the middle class and unrig the economy. And the best way to do that is to make it easier for working people to come together and organize in a union – a topic not mentioned in tonight’s address. The state of our union is strong when unions are strong.”