President Donald Trump’s second formal State of the Union address on Tuesday night takes place as the president and Congress try to find a solution to avert another government shutdown on February 15.
The theme of the speech is “choosing greatness,” according to a briefing Friday with administration officials. The prepared text includes this statement: “Together we can break decades of political stalemate. We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make.”
Trump: Thank you very much madam speaker, vice president, members of Congress, the first lady of the United States. [applause]
And my fellow Americans. We meet tonight at a moment of unlimited potential, as we begin a new Congress, I stand here ready to work with you to achieve historic breakthroughs for all Americans. Millions of our fellow citizens are watching us, gathered in this great chamber, hoping we will govern not as two parties, but as one nation. [applause]
The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican agenda or Democrat agenda, it is the agenda of the American people. Many of us have campaigned on the same core promises, to defend American jobs and demand fair trade for American workers, to rebuild and revitalize our nation’s infrastructure, to reduce the price of health care and prescription drugs, to create an immigration system that is safe, lawful, modern and secure, and to pursue a foreign policy that puts America’s interests first.
There is a new opportunity in American politics, if only we have the courage together to seize it. [applause] victory is not winning for our party, victory is winning for our country. [applause] this year, America will recognize two important anniversaries that show us the majesty of America’s vision and the power of American pride.
In June we marked 75 years since the start of what general Dwight Eisenhower called “the great crusade,” the allied liberation of Europe in world war ii. [applause] on d-day, June 6, 1944, 15,000 young American men jumped from the skies, and 60,000 more stormed in from the sea to save our civilization from tyranny. Here with us tonight are three of those incredible heroes. Private first class Joseph Riley, staff sergeant Erving Walker — and sergeant Hartman Zeitcheck.
Video: US President Donald J. Trump delivered his second State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington on February 5.
Gentlemen, we salute you. In 2019 we also celebrate 50 years since brave young pilots flew 1/4 of one million miles through space the plants of American flag on the face of the moon. Half a century later, we are joined by one of the Apollo 11 astronauts who planted that flag, Buzz Aldrin. [applause] thank you, buzz. This year, American astronauts will go back to space in American rockets. [applause]
In the 20th century, America saved freedom, transformed science, redefined the middle class, and when you get down to it, there is nothing anywhere in the world that can compete with America. [applause] now we must step boldly and bravely into the next chapter of this great American adventure. We must create a new standard of living for the 21st century.
An amazing quality of life for all of our citizens is within reach. We can make our communities safer, our families stronger, our culture richer, our faith deeper, and our middle class and more prosperous than ever before. [applause] but we must reject the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution, and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise, and the common good.
Together we can break decades of political stalemate. We can bridge all divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make. We must choose between greatness or gridlock, results or resistance, vision or vengeance, incr.
“In the past, most of the people in this room voted for a wall, but the proper wall never got built. I will get it built,” Trump said in the highly anticipated speech before a joint session of the U.S. Congress, with his main Democratic adversary, new House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, watching over his shoulder.
“Simply put, walls work and walls save lives. So let’s work together, compromise, and reach a deal that will truly make America safe,” Trump said.
“As we speak, large, organized caravans are on the march to the United States. We have just heard that Mexican cities, in order to remove the illegal immigrants from their communities, are getting trucks and buses to bring them up to our country in areas where there is little border protection. I have ordered another 3,750 troops to our southern border to prepare for the tremendous onslaught.
This is a moral issue. The lawless state of our southern border is a threat to the safety, security, and financial well‑being of all Americans. We have a moral duty to create an immigration system that protects the lives and jobs of our citizens. This includes our obligation to the millions of immigrants living here today, who followed the rules and respected our laws. Legal immigrants enrich our Nation and strengthen our society in countless ways. I want people to come into our country, but they have to come in legally.”
Democrats call the wall a waste of money and ineffective.
About world wars
“An economic miracle is taking place in the United States and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations,” he said.
His remarks came as Democrats who now control the House planned a series of probes into the Trump administration and a special prosecutor investigates Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. Russia denies meddling.
Trump also called attention to his efforts to rewrite trade deals with China and other nations to make the terms more favorable to the United States.
As his economic advisers work to complete a trade deal with China, Trump said any agreement “must include real, structural change to end unfair trade practices, reduce our chronic trade deficit, and protect American jobs.”
About Iran and Israel
He also called out Iran for threats against Israel.
“We will not avert our eyes from a regime that chants Death to America and threatens genocide against the Jewish people,” he will say.
About criminal justice reform
In the last Congress, both parties came together to pass unprecedented legislation to confront the opioid crisis, a sweeping new Farm Bill, historic VA reforms, and after four decades of rejection, we passed VA Accountability so we can finally terminate those who mistreat our wonderful veterans.
And just weeks ago, both parties united for groundbreaking criminal justice reform. Last year, I heard through friends the story of Alice Johnson. I was deeply moved. In 1997, Alice was sentenced to life in prison as a first-time non-violent drug offender. Over the next two decades, she became a prison minister, inspiring others to choose a better path. She had a big impact on that prison population — and far beyond.
Two weeks ago, the United States officially recognized the legitimate government of Venezuela, and its new interim President, Juan Guaido.
We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom — and we condemn the brutality of the Maduro regime, whose socialist policies have turned that nation from being the wealthiest in South America into a state of abject poverty and despair.
According to survey conducted by Brookings Institution researchers, there were more changes in the cabinet during the Trump’s presidency than any other President in recent memory. They stated that more than 65% of the cabinet have been replaced at least once.