Trump's Speech Yields Mixed Reaction From Maine's Congressional Delegation

Jan 31, 2018

Maine's congressional delegation is expressing mixed reactions to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday night.

In a statement, Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican known for her centrist views, said a lot of the issues Trump raised in the speech have bipartisan support.

"I believe we can achieve consensus on policies to make much-needed investments in our infrastructure; lower prescription drug costs; and address the opioid crisis, which has had a devastating effect on so many families and communities," Collins write.

Sen. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, said in an interview Wednesday on Maine Public's Morning Edition that he also agreed with some parts of the president's speech. "I thought that the trade piece was strong, because I don't think that Maine has made out very well" in trade agreements, King said.

But King said he was disappointed with Trump's approach to immigrants. "There are so many positive stories about immigrants to our country and I thought it was unfair that he lumped immigrants in with gang members," King said. "And it didn't help move the discussion forward in the Congress."

On the U.S. House side, Democrat Chellie Pingree, who represents Maine's 1st District, said Trump seems incapable of making bipartisan deals. "If President Trump truly wants to move these issues forward and unify the country, he needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror and fundamentally change his presidency."

In contrast, Republican Bruce Poliquin, of Maine's 2nd District, said cooperation is needed going forward. "We need to work together—Democrats and Republicans—to solve the most serious challenges our nation faces," he said in a statement.