Image Credits: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President Donald Trump gave his first address to a joint session of Congress on February 28th. There was significant anticipation surrounding what he would say, and the issues he would address in his speech. Here’s what you need to know about President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress.

1) He hasn’t forgotten immigration

Trump said that he wants to help promote the enforcement of our laws regarding immigration and protect our borders. He believes that by doing so we will raise wages for American workers, help the unemployed, and make our communities safer. Perhaps the most powerful moment of Trump’s comments on immigration was when he asked “What would you say to the American family that loses their jobs, their income, or a loved one because America refused to uphold its laws and defend their borders?.” President Trump followed by expressing his belief that his and Congress’s obligation is to serve, protect, and defend the citizens of the United States of America by [restoring] integrity and the rule of law to our borders.”

2) There was a continued call for bipartisan efforts

President Trump is not blind to the party lines that are often drawn during the discussion of issues facing our nation. Instead of ignoring the elephant, and donkey, in the room, he called for Republicans and Democrats alike to set aside their differences for the good of the American people numerous times on a variety of issues. Perhaps his greatest call for unity was in saying,If we are guided by the well-being of American citizens then I believe Republicans and Democrats can work together to achieve an outcome that has eluded our country for decades.”

3) Military is big focus

When discussing the budget that he hopes to pass in the future, President Trump made it known that he will be calling for the largest increase in military spending in our nation’s history. Trump intends to give the military “the resources its brave warriors so richly deserve,” not only while they are in the service, but by giving “heroic veterans… the care they so desperately need.”

4) There were a lot of tears

From Justice Scalia’s wife to the widow of Ryan Owens, President Trump made mention of various people who were impacted by policies he is hoping to reform. Family members of police officers who were slain in the line of duty, and even a rare disease survivor were there to represent the issues our nation faces.

5) His job is to serve the American people first and foremost

While we might be a superpower across the globe, President Trump expressed a firm belief that his job is to serve the American people in sayingMy job is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America.” Through his speech he attempted to make clear that he had not forgotten his promise to serve, represent, defend, and give a voice to the American public.

6) Israel is our ally

Although it was brief, President Trump made a point to state that he has “reaffirmed our unbreakable alliance with the State of Israel.”

7) Education is cornerstone

There is little argument that education is fundamental to the success of our nation. Trump called education the “civil rights issue of our time,” calling upon Congress to “pass an education bill that funds school choice for disadvantaged youth.” He believes that families should have the right to choose which school is right for their child and their family, and that all Americans should have the same opportunity to succeed.

8) The police have found a friend in President Trump

President Trump made it very clear that in order for children to succeed and overcome poverty in the inner cities, we must provide support to those in law enforcement who defend and protect, and reduce violence. In order to create a communities that are safe “we must build bridges of cooperation and trust — not drive the wedge of disunity and division.” Trump also called for the support of victims of crime, and discussed his order to create VOICE, and organization developed to support such victims.

9) He didn’t ride a Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson was the company Trump used to explain the severity of imposed tariffs and how they impact businesses abroad. President Trump addressed how internationally it is nearly impossible for the multi-million dollar company to compete because in some places their motorcycles are taxed at 100%. The President said, “They weren’t even asking for a change. But I am.” Also, when the company brought their motorcycles to the White House, Trump respectfully declined a ride on one.

10) Tax reform is coming

Our businesses in the United States have suffered in recent decades because of the tariffs imposed on them, but also the taxes imposed by our own government. He said we must make “it easier for companies to do business in the United States, and much harder for companies to leave.” Since American companies are taxed at one of the highest rates anywhere in the world, he hopes to reform such policies to allow for growth. Additionally he said that we must “create a level playing field for American companies and workers” by not only helping businesses with tax reform, but by providing “massive tax relief for the middle class.”

11) Obamacare is looking at repeal

Point blank President Trump called on Congress to “repeal and replace Obamacare.” Instead of limiting the choices and options of American citizens, he wants to “expand choice, increase access, lower costs… and provide better healthcare” to all. With Obamacare premiums more than doubling in some states, President Trump wishes to rid our country of a “collapsing” system and “imploding disaster.” He mentioned three key points to be addressed in the new system: “[ensuring] Americans with pre-existing conditions have access to coverage… [helping] Americans purchase their own coverage… with a plan they want, not the plan that’s forced on them… and [giving] State Governors the resources and flexibility they need with Medicaid.”

12) ISIS hasn’t been forgotten

This was certainly on American’s minds prior to the speech, and President Trump made clear that he intended to follow through on his promise to “demolish and destroy ISIS.” The Department of Defense has been instructed to develop a plan to do just that. He called ISIS a “network of lawless savages” and promised to “work with our allies… to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet.”

The President ended his historic speech with an inspiring line encouraging the American people to Believe in yourselves.Believe in your future. And believe, once more, in America.”

Corrie L
FFL Cabinet Member
Corrie is a Cabinet Member at FFL. She enjoys long walks to Starbucks and is always checking her planner to see what's next. If she isn't talking about law school, being a Camel, or FFL, she's out trying to turn hard work into chicken nuggets.

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