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Ayanna Pressley criticizes Trump in first speech on House floor

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley 1-minute Speech on House Floor
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley 1-minute Speech on House Floor

US Representative Ayanna Pressley, a Boston Democrat, lambasted President Trump Tuesday in her first speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, pinning the blame on him for a partial government shutdown that she said had caused ‘‘a tsunami of hurt.’’

‘‘Madam Speaker, I rise today in opposition to the occupant of the White House. Mr. Trump, you took an oath just as I did five days ago, to protect and defend the Constitution and the American people.

‘‘Sir, you dishonor that oath. You devalue the life of the immigrant, the worker, and the survivor. I see right through you, and so do the American people,’’ said Pressley, a former city councilor who is the first woman of color from Massachusetts to serve in the House.

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‘‘This has nothing to do with border security,’’ she said of Trump’s demand for a border wall, which has led to an impasse with Democrats and the government shutdown.

‘‘Your shutdown, another Trump-generated crisis, has brought a tsunami of hurt,’’ she said.

Pressley’s prepared remarks, released by her office, were brief. She is expected to give a traditional maiden speech later, Pressley spokesman Colin Remal said.

Pressley’s election was part of a new wave of energy that is reshaping Democratic politics nationwide.

She defeated 10-term incumbent Democratic representative Michael Capuano in the primary and faced no Republican in the general election.

She told the Globe last year that ‘‘the American people are looking for us to act and to be bold.’’

Trump was expected to take to national TV Tuesday night to make the case for his wall.

Democrats have strongly resisted Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion for the wall.

The deadlock has resulted in the shuttering of agencies that account for about a quarter of the federal workforce.


Material from Globe wire services was used in this report.

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