SPONSORED: A Congress Divided

When President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address this week, it
arrived on a Congress as divided as Washington insiders, like former congressman and
The Picard Group’s senior director of federal affairs Rodney Alexander, have ever seen.

Despite the division, however, there are some clear take-away points for the everyday
American, Alexander said — and plenty of hope for the collective future. The chief notable announcement of the address, in terms of impact on Americans, could prove to be a $1.4 trillion infrastructure package that promises to address needed improvements in areas urban and rural. “I’m glad we are finally concentrating on infrastructure, although it’s perplexing how we will pay for it,” Alexander said pointing
to his hope that public-private partnerships will play an integral role in the funding
process. “There’s been an implication that they will cap at a 20 percent match for the cost
of the project and not many states, communities, cities will likely be able to do an 80
percent match, so they need to look at that,” Alexander said.

Infrastructure projects include not only roads and bridges, but also sewer and drainage
issues. “There are a lot of projects that could greatly impact especially around the rural
areas of the state that don’t have access to money. I’m anxious to see what they come up
with to help the different areas,” Alexander said.

While infrastructure is often a bipartisan bridge of a subject, the majority of matters
addressed by Trump remained divisive — even the acknowledgement of pride in the flag
itself. “There are people who dislike Donald Trump to the point they can’t reason,”
Alexander said. “These are leaders of the free world and can’t agree on anything.
Compromise has gotten to be an ugly word because of it. Where do you go from here?
Trump showed he has the ability to deliver a speech that is different than the past and one
that didn’t drive the wedge deeper — but, didn’t pull it out either.”

The wedge to which Alexander refers reaches from the discussion about immigration and
border protection to tax cuts and healthcare reform. One area in which Americans can
agree, Alexander pointed out, is the safety of its citizens (referring to the
acknowledgement of MS-13, the gang which Trump referenced at the State of the Union
address.) “The things this gang does — it’s brutal and unbelievable, and I hope Jeff
Sessions can figure out a way to put a stop to it,” Alexander said. “Tax cuts are good and
new roads are good — but, if we can’t go to bed at night and feel safe nothing else
matters.”

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