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Streamed live on Feb 5, 2019
Democrat Stacey Abrams, the party's pick to rebut President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech Tuesday night, slammed the commander-in-chief for causing the partial government shutdown that left hundreds of thousands of federal workers without pay for 35 days this year.
"The shutdown was a stunt engineered by the president of the United States, one that defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people – but our values," she said, according to publicly released excerpts of the remarks she will be giving immediately after Trump concludes his speech. "Making their livelihoods a pawn for political games is a disgrace."
Back on the national stage after gaining a wide following during her close, but unsuccessful bid to become the first black woman governor in the nation, the Georgia Democrat took aim at Trump and the Republican leadership in Congress for not doing more to help the nation's poor and disadvantaged.
"In Georgia and around the country, people are striving for a middle class where a salary truly equals economic security," she is expected to say according to the excerpts. "But instead, families’ hopes are being crushed by Republican leadership that ignores real life or just doesn’t understand it."
After nearly making history in November, the former Georgia state lawmaker was chosen by Democratic leaders in Congress to deliver the party's official response to Trump's State of the Union speech.
It's tradition that the party not occupying the White House is given a chance to rebut the president's speech. Abrams was chosen to deliver the response by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who called her a "great spokesperson (and) incredible leader (who) has led the charge for voting rights."