Palm Beach County’s congressional delegation was divided along partisan lines on President Donald Trump‘s Tuesday night speech to a joint session of Congress.
U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, hailed the prime-time address as “a vision of bipartisanship to try to bridge differences that exist.”
Mast lauded Trump’s calls for strengthening the military.
But Mast, who made improving water quality in the Treasure Coast a top campaign priority last year, said he is “deeply alarmed by reports of severe, across-the-board cuts to the EPA and other agencies that are critical to our quality of life in Florida. On behalf of our community, I will continue working to hold the Administration accountable for any actions that threaten our environment and our way of life.”
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio also said he was “encouraged” by the speech.
In a Facebook post, Rubio said: “For the first time since I’ve been in the Senate, Republicans are poised to enact real, meaningful and lasting reforms to protect Americans, rebuild our military, grow our economy, boost workers’ paychecks, replace ObamaCare with a better system, and remove the roadblocks to prosperity created by bureaucrats in Washington. The president has partners in both the House and Senate to pursue this bold agenda, and I was encouraged to see him make his case to the American people and urge Democrats to stop standing in the way of progress.”
The three Democrats in the county’s delegation criticized Trump.
Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach, said that “the only thing tonight’s speech accomplished was to illustrate just how little the President understands about America.”
Reps. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, and Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, used their Twitter accounts to express criticism or skepticism of Trump’s remarks throughout the speech.
“If we really want to help people battling addiction, we cannot repeal the Affordable Care Act,” Deutch tweeted at one point during Trump’s remarks. Three minutes later, he added: “Great, great wall? And a deportation force? Quick reminder that tearing families apart is inconsistent with our values.”
Frankel was one of several Democratic women to wear white to the speech, an evocation of the women’s suffrage movement “to oppose Republican attempts to roll back women’s progress.”
“Actions speak louder than words, @POTUS. Putting #WallStreetFirst doesn’t create jobs or help hard-working families,” Frankel tweeted at one point during Trump’s speech.
“Another bait & switch speech from @POTUS! Will @realDonaldTrump ever disclose his tax returns?” Frankel tweeted when it was over.