'You picked a Cabinet of billionaires': Democrats respond to Trump's congressional address

Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear delivered the Democratic Party's response to President Donald Trump's joint address to Congress on Tuesday night.

Beshear criticized Trump's picks for his cabinet, which includes Secretary of State and former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson and US Commerce Secretary and billionaire investor Wilbur Ross.

Additionally, Beshear echoed the sentiments of other concerned Democrats who anxiously wait for what could be the demise of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the independent government watchdog agency created after the 2008 financial crisis which crippled the US economy.

"... You started rolling back rules that provide oversight of the financial industry and safeguard us against another national economic meltdown, and you picked a cabinet of billionaires and Wall Street insiders who want to eviscerate the protections that most Americans count on and that help level the playing field. That's not being our champion, that's being Wall Street's champion," Beshear said.

The former governor is an avid supporter of the Affordable Care Act who rallied around its cause after condemning the Trump administration's efforts to repeal and replace the contested healthcare law.

Trump said during his address Tuesday night: "Obamacare is collapsing — and we must act decisively to protect all Americans. Action is not a choice — it is a necessity."

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US President Donald J. Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017.

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U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, center, arrives for a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. President Donald Trump will press Congress to carry out his priorities for replacing Obamacare, jump-starting the economy and bolstering the nations defenses in an address eagerly awaited by lawmakers, investors and the public who want greater clarity on his policy agenda.

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U.S. President Trump Addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - Carryn Owens (C), widow of Senior Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens, sits with Ivanka Trump (R), daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump.

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U.S. President Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - U.S. President Donald Trump arrives.

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U.S. First Lady Melania Trump stands as attendees applaud during a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. President Donald Trump will press Congress to carry out his priorities for replacing Obamacare, jump-starting the economy and bolstering the nation's defenses in an address eagerly awaited by lawmakers, investors and the public who want greater clarity on his policy agenda.

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US President Donald Trump (C) arrives to address a joint session of the US Congress on February 28, 2017, in Washington, DC.

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U.S. Rep Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) arrive to a joint session of the U.S. Congress with U.S. President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress is expected to focus on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare.

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U.S. President Donald Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) arrives.

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U.S. President Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - U.S. first lady Melania Trump (bottom, center) is applauded on her arrival as daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner (R) look on.

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US President Donald Trump arrives to address a joint session of Congress at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on February 28, 2017.

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U.S. President Donald Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - Female Democratic members of the House of Representatives.

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U.S. President Trump Addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - Maureen Scalia, the widow of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, acknowledges applause after being mentioned by U.S. President Donald Trump.

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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (R) looks on as U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress focused on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare.

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US President Donald Trump arrives to address a joint session of Congress at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on February 28, 2017.

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U.S. President Donald Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - Sen. Bernie Sanders applauds as U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the U.S. Congress.

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U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, center, greets Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former chairperson of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), right, while arriving for a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. President Donald Trump will press Congress to carry out his priorities for replacing Obamacare, jump-starting the economy and bolstering the nations defenses in an address eagerly awaited by lawmakers, investors and the public who want greater clarity on his policy agenda.

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U.S. President Trump Addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner.

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U.S. President Donald Trump's limo is seen upon his arrival to address a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 28, 2017.

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U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress is expected to focus on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare.

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U.S. President Donald Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) arrives.

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US President Donald Trump (C) arrives to address a joint session of the US Congress on February 28, 2017, in Washington, DC.

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Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) arrive to a joint session of the U.S. Congress with U.S. President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress is expected to focus on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare.

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Speaker of the House Paul Ryan arrives for U.S. President Donald Trump's first address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress is expected to focus on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare.

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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) arrive to a joint session of the U.S. Congress with U.S. President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress is expected to focus on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare.

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US President Donald Trump (C) arrives to address a joint session of the US Congress on February 28, 2017, in Washington, DC.

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Vice President Mike Pence (L) and House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) arrive to a joint session of the U.S. Congress with U.S. President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress is expected to focus on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare.

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U.S. Capitol is seen minutes before President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress in Washington, U.S. February 28, 2017.

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U.S. President Donald Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17.

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U.S. President Donald Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - Cabinet members applaud as U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the U.S. Congress.

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U.S. President Donald Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - Democratic female members of the House of Representatives talk before U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the U.S. Congress.

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US President Donald J. Trump (L) shakes hands with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) as he arrives to deliver his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017.

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First lady Melania Trump (R), Ivanka Trump (top 2ndR) and White House Senior Advisor to the President for Strategic Planning Jared Kushner (top R) arrive to a joint session of the U.S. Congress with U.S. President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress is expected to focus on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare.

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump, center, arrives for a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. President Trump will press Congress to carry out his priorities for replacing Obamacare, jump-starting the economy and bolstering the nation's defenses in an address eagerly awaited by lawmakers, investors and the public who want greater clarity on his policy agenda.

(Aaron P. Bernstein/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) arrives.

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US President Donald J. Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017. / AFP / POOL / JIM LO SCALZO (Photo credit should read JIM LO SCALZO/AFP/Getty Images)

Denisha Merriweather (C) is recognized as US President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the US Congress on February 28, 2017, in Washington, DC.

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US President Donald J. Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017.

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Megan Crowley (C) is recognized as US President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the US Congress on February 28, 2017, in Washington, DC.

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U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress focused on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare.

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U.S. President Trump addresses Joint Session of Congress - Washington, U.S. - 28/02/17 - U.S. President Donald Trump arrives.

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US First Lady Melania Trump arrives before US President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the US Congress on February 28, 2017, in Washington, DC.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, listens as U.S. President Donald Trump, not pictured, speaks during a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. Trump will press Congress to carry out his priorities for replacing Obamacare, jump-starting the economy and bolstering the nation's defenses in an address eagerly awaited by lawmakers, investors and the public who want greater clarity on his policy agenda.

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So far, the White House's plans to replace Obamacare has been met with staunch opposition from both sides of the political aisle, and the debate over how to effectively replace the legislation has deepened from within the Republican Party.

"And even more troubling," Beshear said to Trump, "you and your Republican allies in Congress seem determined to rip affordable health insurance away from millions of Americans who most need it.

Does the Affordable Care Act needs some repairs? Sure it does. But so far, every Republican idea to replace the Affordable Care Act would reduce the number of Americans covered, despite your promises to the contrary.

Mr. President ... this isn't a game, it's life and death for people. These ideas promise access to care, but deny the importance of making care affordable and effective. They would charge families more for fewer benefits and put the insurance companies back in control."

Beshear also went on the offensive on issues relating to national security. He ripped Trump's alleged relations with Russia — which took center stage earlier this month after reports that his team had frequent contacts with Russia prior to the election. And Beshear slammed Trump's effort to target undocumented immigrants and refugees through a January executive order that was suspended by an appelate court on February 9.

"Look, make no mistake, I'm a military veteran myself, and I know that protecting America is a president's highest duty. Yet President Trump is ignoring serious threats to our national security from Russia, who is not our friend, while alienating our allies who fought with us side-by-side and are our friends in a dangerous world.

His approach makes us less safe and should worry every freedom-loving American. Instead, President Trump has all but declared war on refugees and immigrants. Look, the president can and should enforce our immigration laws, but we can protect America without abandoning our principles and our moral obligation to help those fleeing war and terror, without tearing families apart and without needlessly jeopardizing our military men and women fighting overseas.

You know, another Republican president, Ronald Reagan, once said 'In America, our origins matter less than our destination, and that is what democracy is all about'."

Beshear hasn't held public office since 2015, however, as a staunch supporter of Obamacare, he was viewed as an ideal choice to respond on behalf of Democrats. During his governorship, he managed to bring the health care plan into the deep-red state of Kentucky, which then accounted for the biggest drop of uninsured rates in the US, from 20% to 7.5%.

Watch Beshear's entire response:

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