Speed Reads

state of the union 2018

Rep. Joe Kennedy III responds to SOTU: 'Our country will be judged by the promises we keep'

In the Democratic response to President Trump's first State of the Union address, Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) said the administration's "record is a rebuke to our highest American ideal, the belief that we are all worthy, that we are all equal, that we all count in the eyes of our law, our leaders, our God, and our government."

While the government is struggling to stay open, Russia is "knee-deep in our democracy," and the Justice Department rolls back "civil rights by the day," Kennedy said, the Democrats are choosing "a better deal for all who call this country home," including a living wage, pensions that are solvent, fair trade pacts, and a "health-care system that offers mercy." The Trump administration "callously appraises our worthiness and decides who makes the cut and who can be bargained away," and pits people against one another, he said. "We are bombarded with one false choice after another: Coal miners or single moms. Rural communities or inner cities. The coast or the heartland. As if the mechanic in Pittsburgh and the teacher in Tulsa and the daycare worker in Birmingham are somehow bitter rivals, rather than mutual casualties of a system forcefully rigged for those at the top."

Americans are always striving for progress, Kennedy concluded, and politicians "can be cheered for the promises they make," but the "country will be judged by the promises we keep."