WASHINGTON – Numerous critics of President Trump voiced their displeasure Tuesday evening following his annual State of the Union address, citing what they considered a lack of discussion on the U.S’s infrastructure, along with the ongoing opioid epidemic.
During a teleconference with reporters Wednesday afternoon, WNYNewsNow asked Congressman Tom Reed what he and the President can do to continue to fight against the opioid crisis in the district, as well as nationwide. Reed said Congress must continue to push for bipartisan legislation.
“We’ve already made great strides in regards to bipartisan legislation that’s been signed into law,” Reed said. “We’ve seen those resources and prioritization of funds on top of the people, and facilities and programs that have been extended that have started to see success and bear fruit.”
“We’ll continue to build off of that success going forward, but that is something where I think we’ve made great strides and will continue to improve as we see the need come into focus.”
WNYNewsNow also asked Reed what can be done to improve the infrastructure, both district and countrywide. Reed said that infrastructure provides “huge opportunities” for bipartisan legislation.
“In regards to infrastructure, I think there’s huge opportunites for common ground as everybody recognizes the problem, everybody wants to fix the problem,” Reed said. “I think there’s an appetite, here in Washington, to do this, and this could be one of those areas where we can start changing the culture, and start working together to come up with a solution.”
Reed said that the Problem Solvers Caucus put together a proposal where they agreed they’d vote as a block to support an infrastructure package that would “do exactly what the President is calling upon.”
The Congressman also said that another area that could serve as an opportunity for bipartisanship involves healthcare cost and, particularly, the cost of prescription drugs.
Reed was also asked if he remains confident that a deal can be reached to avoid another partial government shutdown. The Corning native answered by saying that he recognizes a shutdown as a possibility, but he remains optimistic that Republicans and Democrats will come together to strike an agreement.
“That (another partial shutdown) is a reality that we have to recognize given the track record of Congress, to date,” Reed said. “But I’m very hopeful that, even Tuesday night as the conversation was had about border security, what was articulated, in regards to the President’s position, is not extreme and not immoral.”
“What the President is talking about, and what I believe the compromised position should be, and what would likely be, if members were able to just lead, and follow the substance of what needs to be done.”
The current government spending bill will expire on Feb. 15.