Following President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address Tuesday night, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick commented on the speech that lasted more than an hour.
Fitzpatrick, a moderate Republican, issued the following statement:
“What is needed now more than ever is for our nation to come together, both Democrat and Republican, to tackle serious challenges facing our nation. What’s more, is that we do so in a civil, dignified manner that is becoming of American values, viewing those with different viewpoints as a strength to be harnessed, not a quality to be criticized. It is my hope that the President will embrace the bipartisan Problem Solver’s Caucus in 2018 as the vehicle for solutions that will unite our great nation. Each one of us look forward to working with the Administration on a wide range of issues, from tackling the opioid epidemic, to growing our economy, to fixing an inherently broken system in Washington D.C. Let’s get to work.”
The congressman’s statement on the speech did not mention some other pressing issues that came up in Trump’s address, including reforming the immigration system.
Fitzpatrick sat with Democratic congressional peer Tom Suozzi of New York in a move of bipartisanship. The Republican wore a blue tie and the Democrat wore a red tie. The two elected officials are part of the Problem Solver Caucus.
During the address, Trump did mention the Right to Try Act that Fitzpatrick helped introduce. Fitzpatrick’s guest at the State of the Union was Matt Bellina, a Navy veteran and father from Northampton, who is battling ALS.
“We also believe that patients with terminal conditions, terminal illness, should have access to experimental treatment immediately that could potentially save their lives. People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure. I want to give them a chance right here at home. It’s time for Congress to give these wonderful, incredible Americans the right to try,” Trump said.
Under the proposed Right to Try Act, terminally ill patients, physicians and pharmaceutical manufacturers administer investigational treatments where no alternative exists. Similar laws exist in Pennsylvania and a number of other states.