WASHINGTON – In response to President Trump's first joint address to Congress, American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. issued the following statement:
"I appreciate that President Trump struck a more conciliatory tone in his address and expressed a desire to work with lawmakers across the aisle on positive reforms that will benefit all Americans. Unfortunately, many of the unilateral actions President Trump has taken so far will leave Americans less safe and less financially secure than when he took office.
"Preventing federal agencies from hiring new workers or filling vacant positions makes it harder for them to provide the services that taxpayers expect. Gutting the budgets of agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and State Department endangers the health of our country and weakens our standing internationally. Promising to unravel a law that has extended health care coverage to millions of people puts their lives at risk. Handing tens of billions of dollars more to unaccountable defense contractors will do absolutely nothing to improve military readiness.
"President Trump said he wants to work with members of Congress from both parties going forward on new laws that will benefit all Americans. I and the rest of the country intend to hold him to that promise."