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Wilson Praises Speech but Cranston Complains It Avoided Crucial Issues

January 28, 1987|United Press International

WASHINGTON — Sen. Pete Wilson (R-Calif.) called President Reagan's State of the Union message "excellent," and Sen. Alan Cranston (D-Calif.) said he was pleased that the President appeared to be in good health but added that his speech failed to touch crucial issues.

"It was an excellent State of the Union message," Wilson said. "The President was both conciliatory to Congress and challenging. It was an ambitious speech with a broad pallet. I am looking forward to examining the specifics of his proposal on budget reform, welfare reform and catastrophic health insurance."

Wilson said that he was especially pleased by Reagan's comments on trade.

"I think it is high time we quit being trade patsies and become true trade partners, just as the President said," Wilson said. "We must deal with our trading partners fairly, but not indulgently, and I think the President's speech gave a clear signal we are going to demand fair treatment in the trade arena."

Cranston said that Reagan "is in fine shape but, in his speech, he failed to touch upon many priority matters of grave concern to millions of Americans. There was not a word on the homeless, housing needs, transportation, the environment, toxic waste or impure water and air. In a 320-line speech, there were only four lines on drugs, and he just cut the budget (for drug enforcement)."

When asked how he thought Reagan had dealt with the Iran affair in his speech, Cranston said, "He admitted risks and mistakes, but he did not clear up any of the questions about who did what, when and under what authority."

When asked the same question, Wilson said, "I agree with him that Congress should not dwell on the Iran affair to the exclusion of other urgent matters before us. I believe the President is doing everything he can to get to the bottom of this."

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