Senators from Pa. lay out hopes for SOTU

Written by Rachel McDevitt, All Things Considered Host | Feb 5, 2019 5:36 PM

Pennsylvania's U.S. Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey.

(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania's U.S. Senators are laying out their expectations ahead of President Donald Trump's State of the Union Address tonight.

Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Bob Casey both said they want to see Trump signal some room for compromise in his demand for a border wall.

Toomey told reporters on a conference call the president's tone tonight will have a huge impact on the likelihood of success in negotiations going forward.

"I think his tone ought to be one of reason and willingness to negotiate," Toomey said. 

Toomey said he believes there's room for negotiation on the amount allocated for border security, of which a physical barrier is one component.

He also wants to see the president highlight the county's strong economy, which he credits to recent tax-cuts and regulatory roll-backs.

At the top of Casey's list is an end to uncertainty for federal employees.

"The president tonight, among other things, should say very specifically: as long as I am president of the United States of America, I will do everything in my power to prevent any more shutdowns," Casey said. 

Casey is driving that point home by bringing Pittsburgh TSA officer Monica Hughes to the speech as his guest.

She said her family had to dip into savings and applied for food assistance to get through the 35-day partial government shutdown.

In addition, Casey said he hopes to hear plans to improve the nation's infrastructure.

WITF will air the State of the Union address tonight at 9.

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