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President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address was being touted early on as a message of unity and bipartisanship. There were a few moments that President Trump received bipartisan ovations for Americans who had given their all and for his message about the strength of this great country.
Trump's speech took place as his administration continues to be bogged down in the muck of the Robert Mueller investigation into whether Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, as well as possible collusion between Trump staff and Russian operatives. President Trump addressed tax reform, national security, infrastructure, trade and immigration reform.
The Big Takeaway:
What most people will draw from this State of the Union address, is his continued reference to major bipartisan policy plans. President Trump drew some boos when he discussed parts of his immigration plan. He did managed to draw bipartisan applause when he addressed infrastructure. President Trump managed to take a shot at former Pres. Obama while he promised to avoid "complacency" on North Korea. He also laid out some major proposals for this year.
Proposals for 2018:
- President Donald Trump offered up a massive bipartisan infrastructure plan, asking for $1.5 trillion for federal, state, local and private sector spending.
- President Trump proposed his "four pillars" of immigration reform plan:
- A path to citizenship for nearly two million undocumented immigrants brought into the United States as children by their parents.
- Border security in the form of building the wall along the southern border and hiring more ICE agents.
- Terminating the visa lottery, which Trump has said randomly hands out green cards to anyone without regard to skill, merit or safety of Americans.
- Terminating the "chain migration," a major point that Trump has pressed throughout his campaign and his presidency. He claims it allows immigrants to bring an unlimited number of relatives to the U.S. This pillar was met with boos and hissing by Democrats in attendance.
- President Trump said it was time to reform the prison system.
- Trump said it is time to end the defense sequester and modernize America's nuclear arsenal.
- Trump asked Congress to give every Cabinet agency the power to reward good federal workers and remove federal workers who undermine the public trust.
- Trump also asked Congress to pass legislation that allows terminally ill patients to try experimental treatments.
Along with outlining his future plans for the year, he also mentioned some new orders he enacted moments before he gave his State of the Union Address.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order to keep Guantanamo Bay open. Trump said he would be detaining more ISIS and al-Qaeda prisoners there.
"My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans — to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. Because Americans are dreamers too."
This is actually President Trump's second address before Congress. In 2017, he addressed Congress. Now Congress is back to argue over immigration with the hope of making some compromise so that "where nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs and must have.
Following the State of the Union Address, Rep. Joe Kennedy III delivered the Democratic response where he said, "politicians can be cheered for the promises they make, but the country will be judged by the promises we keep." On this issue of the recent turmoil last year, Kennedy said "We all feel the fault lines of a fractured country," "We hear the voices of Americans who feel forgotten and forsaken."