Montana delegation responds to Trump’s calls for unity in SOTU address

Members of Montana’s congressional delegation agreed on one thing after President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night: Working together is more effective than partisan bickering.

Facing a divided Congress for the first time, Trump urged the nation’s lawmakers to “bridge old divisions” and “heal old wounds” in an effort to build bipartisan cooperation.

Rep. Greg Gianforte took the words to heart.

“President Trump is right – we must come together to address the challenges facing our country,” he said in a statement released after the address. “Republicans and Democrats should do what we did last year – come together to deliver results for the American people.”

Like the president, Gianforte cited examples of bipartisan successes from 2018, including a new Farm Bill, strengthening of the U.S. military, reforms at the the Department of Veterans Affairs, and combating illegal drugs.

And like the president, Gianforte continued his push to build a wall on the southern U.S. border, saying Congress must work together to accomplish the task.

“We need to give those agents the tools they need to get the job done, including more drug-detecting equipment, better body armor, and meaningful physical barriers,” Gianforte said. “They know walls and barriers work. Republicans and Democrats should put aside partisan differences, get the job done, and secure our borders.”

Tester said he has always worked across the aisle to achieve what’s best for Montana and the nation. Trump has signed more than a dozen bills authored by Tester into law.

At the same time, Tester said, action speaks louder than words.

“I agree with his call for unity and bipartisanship, but those words will ring hollow if they’re not paired with action,” Tester said. “It’s not enough to give lip service to our country’s pressing problems — like the high cost of prescription drugs, the safety of communities nationwide, the tariffs hurting our farmers, and our aging infrastructure — we’ve got to solve them.”

Sen. Steve Daines tweeted his reactions throughout Trump’s speech. On abortion he said, “If we can’t agree on something so fundamental that babies born alive deserve the right to life, I fear deeply for the direction some are taking our country.”

Under Trump’s presidency, Daines said, “we’ll continue to unlock Montana’s and America’s energy potential.”

“Under @realDonaldTrump and Republican leadership, our economy is booming,” Daines said. “More money is staying in the pockets of hardworking Montanans, middle class income is at an all-time high, and thousands of jobs are being created in Montana and all over the country.”