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South Florida elected officials react to President Trump's congressional speech

Some remain optimistic about bipartisan help

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Donald Trump attended a  luncheon Wednesday with Republican leaders of the U.S.  House of Representatives and Senate.

And just the night before Trump gave his first speech to Congress in which he called for unity. 

"We are a country that stands united," Trump said.

On Tuesday night, Trump spoke for an hour and 12 minutes as he launched the big America-first agenda with which he won the presidency.

 "Every single thing that he's talked about and that we're going to try to get done , are heavy lifts, complicated," U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart said.

And lawmakers from South Florida sit on the committees that will be dealing with the devil in the details of that agenda, like how to pay for a trillion dollars in infrastructure building.

"Neither did you hear how building up the military is going to be paid for," U.S.  Rep. Alcee Hastings said. "You also didn't hear anything having to do with preserving Medicare and Social Security."

U.S. Rep Carlos Curbelo said he’d like to see bi-partisan partnerships.

"I would like to see some concrete actions from the White House to work with Republicans and Democrats on the Hill to try to get health care reform done, tax reform done," he said.  

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said she hopes Trump can carry the tone of Tuesday’s speech throughout his presidency.

"If he would carry his presidency like he delivered that  speech, I think we would be in better shape," she said.

South Florida representatives - with a bit of a partisan divide - saw signs the president is willing to compromise.

Like when Trump suggested in his speech that Americans with pre-existing conditions could continue to have access to health care coverage.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz remains skeptical.

"Until he grasps what's going on  and moves forward in a way that constructively demonstrates an ability and willingness to work together, count me as a skeptic," she said.

 

 


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