What Minnesota lawmakers thought of President Trump's address

What Minnesota's U.S. representatives and senators had to say about the president's speech.
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President Donald Trump gave his first speech to Congress Tuesday night, an hourlong address reiterating many of the previous things he's said about immigration, defense and economics – though at times with a decidedly softer tone.

In attendance were all 10 members of Minnesota's congressional delegation – eight U.S. representatives and two U.S. senators. Here's what each have said following Trump's address.

Sen. Al Franken – D

Franken, who's become a high-profile figure in 2017, went to Facebook to post his thoughts, saying it's "no secret" he disagrees with the president on a lot of things and noting concerns about some parts of his address. Franken specifically mentioned Trump's vow to repeal the Affordable Care Act, as well as the White House's immigration policies, as sticking points.

"Yet despite our many disagreements, I will continue looking for ways to work with the President, and he offered some areas where I believe we may be able to find common ground," Franken continued, pointing out Trump's comments about helping service members and job readiness among Americans.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar – D

The senior senator for Minnesota doesn't appear to have commented since Tuesday's speech.

Rep. Tim Walz (CD1) – D

Walz's message afterward focused mainly on getting care for veterans and helping currently service members, as well as the impact of health insurance costs on Minnesotans – such as farmers and others who have been "hit hard in the individual marketplace."

To that end, Walz said he and the Trump administration "share vital goals."

"But populism without a plan isn't leadership, and unfortunately, the address lacked significant policy detail and specific plans on how to move forward," he said, noting they disagree on how to address health care going forward. Though Walz did say he hopes they can "set aside politics" and find some common ground to come up with solutions.

Rep. Jason Lewis (CD2) – R

Lewis, who is just a couple months into his first term, hasn't said anything publicly since the speech. Though beforehand, he said he was "looking forward to hearing more details on tax reform and health care reform" for his Minnesota voters.

Rep. Erik Paulsen (CD3) – R

Paulsen described Trump's speech as having "many encouraging aspects," and called the president's outlines on infrastructure, job creation and the economy "substantive." He also credited Trump for bringing up FDA reform that would affect medical advancements.

"I hope tonight serves as a launching pad to move forward, put aside political bickering, and focus on real solutions to real problems facing families across the state and the country," he said.

Rep. Betty McCollum (CD4) – D

McCollum in a video on Facebook afterward said she was "disappointed," because his speech didn't lay out a vision for moving America forward, but instead was "more campaign rhetoric from his campaign rallies."

She also said Trump's transportation proposal "sounds good," but she and her colleagues are waiting to see details. And she noted his health care outline "talks about access, but he doesn't guarantee access."

She also put out a statement with similar thoughts on her site, and tweeted thoughts.

Rep. Keith Ellison (CD5) – D

Ellison, generally a frequent tweeter, hasn't put anything out online since the speech. But beforehand, he and new DNC Chair Tom Perez poked back at Trump's claims the DNC vote was rigged.

And according to USA Today, Ellison said: "This is a speech [where] he doesn’t have to answer any questions; he’s going to say whatever he needs to say to appeal to who he wants to appeal to. But people are going to judge what he said with what he does, and they don’t match up."

Rep. Tom Emmer (CD6) – R

Emmer – who recently held a town hall that was tense, but civilsaid he supports the vision of optimism and cooperation that Trump laid out, and gave the president props for making progress toward his campaign promises.

The congressman also specifically mentioned Trump's "dedication to rolling back the excessive and burdensome regulations that are hurting small businesses," and the president's "commitment to the rule of law."

He added: "I join President Trump in his desire to unwind the failure that is Obamacare and work to restore a working health care system that expands access and lowers costs for families across Minnesota and the country."

Rep. Collin Peterson (CD7) – D

Peterson hasn't appeared to make a public statement since the address.

Rep. Rick Nolan (CD8) – D

Nolan said the president made "great promises to support fair trade, transportation infrastructure and bipartisanship – but the problem is we can’t believe him, because at one point or another he’s been on every side of every issue." He said he will wait on making final judgment until seeing details of Trump's plans.

Nolan also promised to keep focusing on transportation infrastructure (like roads and bridges), Social Security and Medicare, the creation of good-paying jobs. and pensions. On Twitter, Nolan also applauded (again) Trump's support of using U.S. steel in pipeline construction.

"Hopefully President Trump will be true to his rhetoric and join us in supporting these initiatives," Nolan said.

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