PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — This week, President Trump instituted a hiring freeze for federal workers and approved two controversial energy pipelines.
He has signed numerous executive orders, from cutting off funding to sanctuary cities, to ordering the construction of a wall along the U.S. Mexico border, and rolling back parts of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
Governor Raimondo and members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation reacted Friday to the President’s first week in office.
R.I. Senior Senator Jack Reed had this to say on President Trump’s nomination for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos —
“Miss DeVos flunked her confirmation hearing and is not the right person for the job. Our Secretary of Education should be a champion for all children, not someone like Ms. DeVos who suggested that a landmark civil rights law should be left up to states. If Ms. DeVos is confirmed, I fear she will take resources away from public school students and direct them to for-profit schools and institutions that share her views.”
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse reacted to rolling back the Affordable Care Act —
“The executive order related to the Affordable Care Act, nobody knows what it means, nobody has a clue what the agencies will do with it. It’s very, very broadly written.”
Congressman Jim Langevin commented on the border wall the President intends to build —
“I think its resources that are not well spent, it will be more effective to have tougher border security.”
Congressman David Cicilline released this statement after President Trump signed an executive order to suspend the admission of Syrian refugees to the United States —
“We are a nation of immigrants. Rhode Island was founded by a refugee, Roger Williams. Since 1776, our country has been a beacon of hope for oppressed people around the world. We have always welcomed those fleeing unspeakable violence with open arms. This executive order is an outright betrayal of the values that define our nation. Today, we are allowing fear and hysteria to prevail over facts and reason. Vetting for the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program already requires that anyone seeking to come to our country undergo multiple high-level security checks, biometric screening, a mandatory in-person interview with the Department of Homeland Security, medical exams, and a cultural orientation program, as well as a determination that the individual does not pose a threat to the United States. The entire process takes 18-24 months. And it works – not a single Syrian refugee has been convicted of a terrorism-related offense in the United States. Donald Trump already knows this, but he’s nonetheless chosen to cruelly demonize refugees today just to gain a short-term political victory. One day, we will look back on January 27th, 2017, as a day when the President failed to maintain our American values. This executive order does nothing to make our nation safer. It will not prevent future terrorist attacks. In fact, the only thing that will happen as a result is that more innocent men, women, and children will die.”
Governor Gina Raimondo had this to say —
“There’s a lot more fear and anxiety and concern and upset than you might realize, like people are legitimately afraid. At this point, I’m trying to stay level-headed, and just wait and see where it goes, and being ready at any point to protect Rhode Islanders. It still remains to be seen to me whether these things are symbolic, or whether they have any actual legal weight. As far as I know, a President can’t with a stroke of a pen withhold federal money, that’s a congressional prerogative, so we’ll see.”