Upstate members of Congress react to Trump's State of the Union

Feb 6, 2019

Reps. John Katko (R-Camillus) and Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) may metaphorically sit on different sides of the aisle, but Tuesday night they sat side by side. 

The two aren't that far off from each other about what they thought about the President's speech either. Katko said he was glad to hear about some bipartisan issues.

"I was kind of heartened by the conciliatory tones he struck from the beginning and that he really seemed to want to find common ground with the Democrats and talked about paid family leave and infrastructure, prescription drug price reform," Katko said.

The President did take some more partisan tones on topics like abortion and Democrat-led House investigations, but even so freshman Democrat Anthony Brindisi was mostly in-favor.

"Overall, I thought it was a good speech,” Brindisi said. “There were things in there I liked to hear, there's things in there, not so much, but overall, I thought it was a positive speech."

A large part of the President's speech focused around his ideas about immigration and border security. Both Katko and Brindisi have expressed a willingness to make different compromises in that area as Congress nears another funding deadline at the end of next week.

North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville), in a statement, praised Trump's address.

President Trump communicated the strong state of our economy and military in his inspirational State of the Union address,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “Protecting our national security, strengthening our infrastructure, lowering the cost of healthcare, fighting against pediatric cancer, eliminating HIV/AIDS, securing our border, and fighting for the interests of hardworking American families are priorities that both sides of the aisle can and should come together to achieve. President Trump called on Congress to join together in a bipartisan fashion to work on behalf of the American public, and I am looking forward to negotiating in good faith with my colleagues to secure our border and fix our broken immigration system.

Finger Lakes Rep. Tom Reed also gave high marks to the president. 

With a soaring economy and a restored leadership around the globe, President Trump highlighted the once in a generation opportunity our country holds to work together to pass laws that help people. Many of the priorities the President laid out, such as rebuilding our infrastructure, lowering the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs, and ensuring our country embraces a safe, fair and legal immigration system, are issues the Problem Solvers Caucus made a top priority as well this Congress, and we look forward to working together. Now extremists on both sides of the aisle have a choice to make: Will they adopt a willingness to compromise and ensure a legacy of greatness for our children and grandchildren, or instead, choose to play ‘gotcha politics,’ and guarantee the American people lose out on future opportunities? We sincerely hope they choose to put the American people first.