Iroquois County Times-Republic: Kinzinger - State of the Union address was 'unifying'
He said there were several points the president made in his speech that "really reached an olive branch out". One of those was immigration, he said, and another was infrastructure.
"I think it gives us a jumping point," he said, noting that each side needs to try and find common ground.
Kinzinger said, too, that there were a couple of times during the speech where he "teared up". One of those was when Officer Ryan Holets and his family were introduced. Holets and his wife adopted a baby from parents who struggled with opioid addiction.
Another was when North Korean defector Ji Seong-ho was introduced and held up his crutches.
He said when people hear about national defense issues, such as North Korea and nuclear missiles it can be difficult to understand the magnitude of the issues.
"The guy that escaped North Korea was a very powerful moment," Kinzinger said. "When we talk about national defense issues, there's a real human toll."
Trump's speech also reflected on things that can benefit this area, he said.
Kinzinger told those on the call that infrastructure is key to Illinois.
He was asked specifically if some of those projects could come to central Illinois, with questioning focusing on DeKalb and Rockford.
Kinzinger said, "I think it is possible. Illinois is in the middle of a vibrant" area of the country. He said Illinois "stands to gain a lot from this (infrastructure proposal)."
A recent trip to Poland, Kinzinger said, showed him just how far infrastructure has come. He said Poland has vastly improved its infrastructure.
Kinzinger said Congress can get an infrastructure bill together if the two sides can work together. "I would like to get this done," he said, noting that "it may not be exactly what the president wants."
Immigration is another issues that Kinzinger said Congress is going to have to come together on to get passed.
"I think the president's proposal is reasonable," he said, noting that the president wants to give 1.8 million Dreamers a path to citizenship, something he has proposed. Kinzinger said in return, there are some things that he wants to see in the immigration bill: a secure border.
Kinzinger said one thing that did take him aback was what he called the lack of respect from some Democrats. Some from that party, he said, boycotted the speech altogether. No matter how one feels about a particular sitting president, he said, the office should be respected.
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