Congresswoman Claudia Tenney: Trump's Congressional address echoes unifying tone

Obamacare requires 'gradual rollback' versus repeal and replace

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSYR-TV) - Congresswoman Claudia Tenney tells NewsChannel 9 she was “impressed” by President Donald Trump’s address to Congress Tuesday night.

Tenney, the Republican from Central New York’s 22nd District, says the President spoke with a unifying tone while noting his reflection on freedom and the founding of the United States.

“He did say the time for small thinking and trivial fights is behind us,” Tenney said. “We need to be inspired by the future and not blinded by the failure of the past and I thought that was really interesting that he would bring that up.”

Tenney says one of the most agreeable points, across the Congressional aisle, was that of the reinvestment into the nation’s infrastructure.

“[He] talked about how much money we spent in foreign wars, we could have rebuilt the United States a couple of times and I think that particular phrase got the largest applause and standing ovation from the Democratic side,” Tenney said.

Among the many issues President Trump covered during his address, repealing and replacing Obamacare was one that Tenney says will need to be a “gradual rollback.”

“It sounds so funny, repeal and replace,” Tenney said. “What we want to see is s gradual rollback of it and see us now ending up with a consumer-driven model, something that provides an opportunity for those people with the $12,000 deductible to reacquaint themselves with their doctor.”

Tenney says the problem with Obamacare is that “it is imploding and it’s hurt so many more people than it’s helped.”

The Congresswoman says many of her constituents have reached out to her to share stories of hardship under current healthcare coverage.

“Stories of having $12,000 deductibles and the inability to even take their children to the doctor because they don’t have enough money to pay the deducible throughout the year,” Tenney shared. “They have healthcare but they have no access to healthcare.”

Tenney says New York state is facing major healthcare difficulties.

“I think the President pointed out in a couple of instances and he actually mentioned there are places where there is no choice in many states. There’s one healthcare and that’s it,” Tenney said. “New York is slowly getting that way. We have a problem. We have a huge expanded Medicaid. One of the few states that’s gotten into a real difficult problem so it was one of the reasons it was good to hear him put the marker out and say we’re going to make sure we’re not leaving anyone behind.”

Outside of topics covered by President Trump Tuesday night, Tenney also updated her plans for town hall meetings with her constituents.

“I have never said I would never do town hall, but what happened is I had death threats against me and I was advised by the Capitol Police and other law enforcement agencies to make sure we take these things seriously,” Tenney shared. “We are in a different time so they told us to wait before we put up a town hall together. That was the reason that we waited.”

However, Tenney says she is planning town hall meetings for the near future.

“We are going to do a town hall on the terms of the people that I represent not the on the terms of protesters who may or may not have a real interest in NY-22,” Tenney said.

Recently, Tenney says that some people she has sat down with have quickly made claims that she refused to meet with them. She says that’s not true.

“I find it interesting that some of them have literally met with me, walked out the door and posted on Facebook that I refused to meet with them after I’ve spent 45 minutes with them or gone straight to the media and say that I refused to meet with them,” Tenney said.

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