[USA], Feb 6 (ANI): Former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams on Tuesday (local time) took on US President Donald Trump over a number of issues ranging from government shutdown, voting rights, climate change, national security and the administration's immigration policies.
Delivering the Democratic response to Trump's State of the Union (SOTU) speech, Abrams, who narrowly lost the race for Georgia governor last year, pitched for fundamental election reforms, when the country is undergoing "a time of division and crisis".
She assured that the Democrats would take the task of ensuring the right to vote for every American citizen.
"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. We must reject the cynicism that says allowing every eligible vote to be cast and counted is a power grab," Abrams was quoted by The Hill as saying.
"Let’s be clear, voter suppression is real. From making it harder to register and stay on the rolls to moving and closing polling places to rejecting lawful ballots, we can no longer ignore these threats to democracy," she added.
Accusing Trump of ignoring national interests during the 35-day partial government shutdown, Abrams said that "far too many Americans are falling behind".
"Families’ hopes are being crushed by the Republican leadership that ignores real life or just doesn’t understand it. Under the current administration, far too many Americans are falling behind, living paycheck to paycheck," she asserted.
Abrams said that during the shutdown, she joined volunteers to distribute meals to the federal workers who were affected as they did not receive paychecks for weeks.
She also called on for new gun control measures, while referring to the recent shooting incidents and swift action on climate change, pointing out that these issues would dominate in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.
Expressing concern over the racist incidents under the Trump administration, Abrams, who is African-American by birth, said that there was a need to hold those accountable who advocated racist comments, even though those sentiments come from "the very highest offices or our own families," The Hill reported.
In his annual speech, Trump called for bipartisanship in American politics in a bid to ease tension between Democrats and Republicans following the hostility that led to the longest government shutdown in history.
“Millions of our fellow citizens are watching us now, gathered in this great chamber, hoping that we will govern not as two parties but as one nation. The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican agenda or a Democrat agenda. It is the agenda of the American people,” he made the comments at the House Chamber. (ANI)