Sara Lonardo,, 202/730-7332

Issued February 28, 2017

SEIU’s Henry: America’s working families’ real needs and concerns missing in President Trump’s address to Congress

WASHINGTON—SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement following President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress:

“In his first address before Congress, the branch of our federal government that most directly represents the people’s interests, President Trump did not address the real needs or concerns of America’s working families. Working moms and dads need to know if they will be able to keep their healthcare and afford child care, if their loved ones will be ripped away by an exclusionist immigration policy, and if the Supreme Court will live up to its constitutional mission of being a check and balance on the rest of government. The alternative is continuing to have a system rigged by self-interested politicians in favor of greedy corporations at the expense of working people.

“If the Trump administration and anti-worker members of Congress repeal the Affordable Care Act without a plan to replace it they would cause millions of people to lose their health coverage, weaken insurance protections and increase costs for so many Americans who are working each day to achieve financial security. People like Maleta Christian, a home care provider who attended tonight’s speech, and credits the preventative test she received under the ACA with saving her life. And in an economy where working families are struggling to find and keep good jobs, three million more jobs would be lost. 

“Instead of providing a path forward for America’s working people towards financial security, good jobs, and a voice in shaping and changing our political system, the agenda laid out tonight by the President would do the opposite. Hardworking people, including immigrants and refugees who – like all of us – are trying to build a better life for their families, have no protection against low-road corporate employers who take advantage of them. Millions of families struggling to stretch their paycheck and afford child care so they can go to work got a do-nothing proposal. President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee supports an America where the rules – which he would help set if confirmed – allow greedy corporations to profit on the backs of working people.

“Across the country, working people have been coming together with our communities in large actions, and demanding that our elected leaders fight for an economy and democracy that work for all of us. We will continue to join together until our elected leaders provide real solutions to the need for good jobs, and an economy and democracy in which all families can thrive.”