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 saying “My 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.”