Local lawmakers respond to President Trump's State of the Union address

President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (Associated Press)

WASHINGTON – Half the House chamber was boisterous and bouncing up and down for standing ovations during President Donald Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday night.

The other half was somber and still, amid a sea of black clothes.

Republicans applauded and cheered as Trump talked about making America great again, and his late 2017 victory revamping the tax code.

Democrats barely reacted to Trump's remarks, though they did join in applause for emergency responders and veterans.

Here's how lawmakers representing Florida and Georgia responded after the State of the Union address:

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Florida)

Nelson released the following statement in response to the president’s State of the Union speech: 

“The American people are sick and tired of the partisan politics that’s going on in Washington. We need leaders who are willing to put aside party politics and work together for the good of the country. We need a president who will not only call for more bipartisanship, but shows he’s willing to work in a bipartisan way.” 

U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R-Georgia)

Perdue made the following statement after President Trump delivered his first State of the Union address to the nation: 

“Tonight, President Trump delivered a message of optimism that all Americans need to hear. Overall, the president’s first year in office has been nothing short of a huge success. The results speak for themselves. The economy is on the cusp of a turnaround, we’ve had two quarters of 3% growth, Americans are seeing the benefits of the tax cuts, 2.4 million new jobs have been created, and 860 rules and regulations have been reversed. 

“Americans now have an outsider, business guy in the White House for a change. He is moving at a business-pace, not a bureaucratic-pace. His focus continues to be delivering on his promises and getting results for the American people.

“As he laid out tonight, rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, strengthening our military, negotiating fair trade deals, and fixing our broken immigration system are all big ticket items we need to tackle. While Americans have witnessed great success, there is still much to do. I believe in the President’s agenda and I am committed to helping him continue delivering results for Georgians and the American people.”

U.S. Rep. John Rutherford (R-Florida)

Rutherford, who represents the 4th Congressional District of Florida, made the following statement regarding this evening’s State of the Union address: 

“President Reagan once asked the American public when evaluating presidential leadership, ‘Are you better off than you were?’  One year into the Trump Administration, we know the answer is a resounding yes.  Tonight, we heard from the President that the state of our union is strong thanks to the strength of our citizens, and it will grow even stronger when we unite to seize the opportunities before us to improve the lives of every American.

"Over the last year, we have seen unemployment drop to a 17-year low and consumer confidence in our economy jump to a 17-year high thanks to effective policies that encourage economic growth.  We are beginning to rebuild our military and improve the quality of care that our veterans receive.  We are working to secure our borders, decrease illegal immigration, and create an immigration system that makes America safer and stronger.  Our brave men and women in uniform are eradicating ISIS and standing firm against the North Korean threat.  As we continue and expand upon these important efforts, I stand ready to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to continue delivering results for the American people."

U.S. Rep. Earl L. "Buddy" Carter (R-Georgia)

Carter released the following statement in response to President Donald J. Trump's State of the Union Address tonight:

"President Trump spoke tonight about the strong state of our union. Over the past year, Congress has worked with President Trump to produce concrete results for the American people. Due to a bold agenda and pro-growth legislation like the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, our economy is growing, unemployment is down, and companies across the nation are creating jobs and investing in their employees. We continue to see companies announce wage increases, bonuses, increased benefits, and investments in our economy. 

"We will continue building on this work with President Trump in the House as there is still a lot work to do. United, we will push forward to improve American infrastructure, strengthen our military and national defense, combat the opioid crisis, lower health care and prescription drug costs, and more. Together, we will continue on this bright path towards a safer and stronger America."