Stacey Abrams, a former Georgia state legislative leader who fell short last fall in her bid to become the first African-American woman to win a governorship, gave the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union message Tuesday night.
Here are highlights of her remarks.
Abrams stressed the need for bipartisanship and the need to avoid a repeat of the recent 35-day partial government shutdown that left 800,000 federal workers furloughed and without pay. She accused Trump of “making their livelihoods a pawn for a political game” in pressing for $5.7 billion in government funds to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border that most Americans don’t want. Abrams, who accused her Republican opponent for governor -- Secretary of State Brian Kemp – of voter suppression, called for reforms to assure voting rights and ballot access to African Americans and other minorities. “This is the next battle for our democracy, one where all eligible citizens can have their say about the vision we want for our country,” she said. “We must reject the cynicism that says allowing every eligible vote to be cast and counted is a 'power grab.” She called on Congress to craft a bipartisan, humane “21st century immigration plan, while complaining that “this administration chooses to cage children and tea families apart.” She said that “compassionate treatment at the border is not the same as open borders.”