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Michigan reps on Trump address: Mitchell praises agenda; Kildee says POTUS has “math problem”

Mar 1, 2017

President Trump's first speech before a joint session of Congress delivered themes and promises that are very familiar. It was delivered in a tone many have remarked was more presidential and more aspirational.

Rep. Paul Michell (R) and Rep. Dan Kildee (D) joined Stateside to give a perspective of last night's speech from both sides of the aisle.

From the Republican side, Congressman Paul Mitchell, who represents Michigan's 10th District, said the speech "captured the aspirations of Americans."

"[The speech] captured the expectations that they have of the president and Congress to get things done," Rep. Mitchell said. "He did a great job of outlining the agenda over the next six to nine months, which is to repeal Obamacare, to restore health care in America, to address our tax system, which is a nightmare ... tax reform for all Americans and to get at our infrastructure, which is obviously a significant issue in Michigan and across this nation."

Mitchell explained his view about why the Affordable Care Act should be repealed, how the government can help more people get "access" to health care, and his support of the President's approach to immigration. 

On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Kildee, who represents Michigan's 5th District, said he was glad to see that the president's tone was improved, but said the speech lacked substance. He also added that the president has a "math problem." 

"He wants to invest$1 trillion in infrastructure, I'm with him on that," Rep. Kildee said. "But he wants to do it and also increase defense spending by an enormous sum ... cut taxes, cut our domestic agenda. I don't know how he does it. It seems as though, as president, he has yet to embrace the fact that he has to make hard choices and not just say things that he thinks people want to hear."

Kildee added that Democrats have been working on a specific infrastructure spending proposal for a long time and he would like to see the president bring a proposal to Congress instead of just saying that he's going to "spend a trillion dollars." The congressman also took issue with Trump's generalizations about immigrants, the idea of privatizing public education and the Flint water crisis not getting a mention.

Listen to the full interview above to hear more reaction to the speech. 

Watch the full speech below.

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