Congressman LaHood shares thoughts on State of the Union Address

By Blake Schnitker on January 31 at 12:29pm

Much of the attention in Washington D.C. and around the country last night centered on President’s Trump’s first State of the Union address.

Many of the Illinois’ Congressmen held reactions that kept in line with their respective parties. Illinois’ 18th District Congressman Darin LaHood is also sharing his thoughts on the President’s address.

LaHood says he took away two main observations from the address: that the President did well to cover the accomplishments of 2017, and laying out a vision for 2018. Starting with the accomplishments, LaHood feels the new tax reform plan is garnering optimism and positivity throughout the nation.

“If you look at the last decade, we’ve had sluggish growth in the economy, static paychecks, and the President talked last night about the economy needing back on track. There is optimism sweeping across the country, and the economy is finally gaining momentum, and that’s due to the once-in-a-lifetime tax reform that we passed, I think that’s helping a great deal, and the regulatory relief. Whether you’re in agriculture, transportation, communications, financial services, manufacturing, we’re seeing an upsurge in the economy. We’ve got the lowest unemployment in the history of this country, and there’s a recognition that the economy is back on track,” LaHood explains.

As for the future, LaHood says he was pleased to hear President Trump’s proposals for infrastructure, particularly in regards to how they could potentially have a positive effect for industries in central and west central Illinois.

“I thought (President Trump) laid out some very good proposals. First, infrastructure, $1.5 trillion in infrastructure. We need to improve our roads and bridges, our locks and dams on the Illinois and Mississippi River, we have to improve our rail system. So infrastructure helps companies like Caterpillar and John Deere, but it also helps workers who are out there maintaining and building new roads and bridges,” says LaHood.

LaHood also points out some of the issues addressed in last night’s speech that he hopes foster more bipartisanship down the road.

“The President also talked a lot about workforce development, job training, vocational skills, again, not traditional Republican issues. Now that we have the lowest unemployment in the history of this country there’s a lot of jobs out there, but how do we move people, particularly able-bodied men and women into the workforce? Job training, vocational skills, again not Republican or Democratic issues, but a great way to find bipartisan support,” LaHood says.

The Peoria-based Congressman also agreed with Trump’s assessment regarding a commitment to stronger foreign and domestic defense being a necessary step for ensuring the safety of all Americans.