Alaska delegation weighs in on State of the Union
President Trump delivered his second State of the Union speech on Tuesday, imploring lawmakers to "break decades of political stalemate" and "heal old wounds" just weeks after the longest government shutdown in history, drawing general praise from Alaska lawmakers.
With House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence seated behind him on the dais of the House chamber, Mr. Trump spoke for nearly an hour and a half, with frequent interruptions of applause from Republican members who broke into chants of "USA!" at several points.
The House chamber was marked by dozens of Democratic women wearing white, the color historically associated with the suffragette movement.
Mr. Trump's speech was his first address to a joint session with one House controlled by Democrats. His remarks came as Congress works to craft a deal on border security to prevent another shutdown before a looming mid-month deadline.
In a video response recorded after Trump's address, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan said he found the speech uplifting.
Sullivan agrees with the president's efforts to grow our economy and is supportive of his approach to lowering health care costs, drug prices and bringing transparency to the health care system. Sullivan thought it was important the president mentioned how energy production in America is up.
"We are now the number one producer of oil and gas in the world, obviously something enormously important to Alaska,” Sullivan said. “Because it's the Trump Administration that said this kind of energy dominance for America can't happen unless it's coming to Alaska as well."
Sullivan brought Fairbanks Central Labor Council AFL-CIO president and Alaska Native leader Doug Tansy as his guest.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski felt the president stressed on compromise, and thought it was an important message during a time of division during the recent partial government shutdown.
“I think it was important to remind us of the greatness of who we are as a nation,” Murkowski said. “So the stories that he wove in with the introduction of those who had fought and served in WWII and then that recognition of the greatness of who we are as a nation, not only militarily but in how we dream. A reminder that it was 50 years ago that we put a man on the moon and to be able to introduce Buzz Aldrin to us, a reminder of how great we are.”
She said Trump's speech, taken overall, was unifying for the country.
"I think sometimes we get so bogged down in the day to day we get caught up in the tweet of the moment and just some of the negativity that comes with politics its important to remember who we are as Americans and the greatness that we are,” Murkowski added.
Rep. Don Young said he doesn’t see a solution when it comes to Trump’s proposed border wall.
“It's bigger than just politics, it takes two to tango and I do believe his presentation to the congress, the dreamers were taken care of,” Young said. “All he asked for was 5.3 million, billion dollars for the wall, or the barriers and they've said no. And you can't negotiate if everyone says no."