What reform saved the United States
On February 4, 2020, President Trump delivered the State of the Union address to both houses of Congress.
Many Thanks. Thanks. Many Thanks.
Madam Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, First Lady of the United States - and my fellow citizens:
We started the great American comeback three years ago. Today I would like to tell you about the great success of this comeback. The labor market is booming, wages are rising, poverty is falling sharply, the crime rate is falling, confidence is growing and our country is flourishing again and is once again highly regarded. America's enemies are on the run, luck is on its side again and America can look to a bright future.
The years of economic decline are over. The days when our country was exploited, taken advantage of and even despised by other countries are far behind us. Gone are the days of empty promises, the times of economic boom without job creation, the days of tired platitudes and constant excuses for the decimation of America's wealth, power and prestige.
In just three short years we have shattered the mentality of American decline and rejected the trivializing of American fate. We have absolutely rejected being made smaller than we are. In doing so, we are moving at a pace that was unthinkable until recently, and we will never go back to what was before.
I am thrilled to tell you that our economy is stronger today than ever before. Our military has been completely rebuilt and no one in the world can compete with it - not remotely. Our borders are safe. Our families are fine. Our values have been renewed. Our pride has been restored. And for all of these reasons, I say to the people of our great country and to Congressmen: our nation is stronger than ever.
The thoughts I share tonight show how we can build the world's most prosperous and inclusive society - one in which every citizen can share in America's unparalleled success and every community in America's extraordinary rise.
From the moment I took office, I have been quick to take steps to revitalize the U.S. economy - by abolishing a record number of anti-employment regulations, introducing historic and record-breaking tax cuts, and fighting for fair, reciprocal trade deals. Our agenda is uncompromisingly pro-worker, pro-family, pro-growth and, above all else, pro-American. Thanks. We advance with unbridled optimism and raise our citizens of every race, color, religion and belief far, far higher.
We have created seven million new jobs since I was elected - five million more than experts predicted during the previous administration's tenure.
The unemployment rate is lower than it has been in over 50 years. And what is absolutely incredible, the average unemployment rate during my tenure is lower than it has ever been under any other government in our country's history. Really. If we had not reversed the previous government's misguided economic policies, the world would not now be witness to this huge economic success.
The unemployment rate among African American, Hispanic and Asian Americans is lower than ever in history. Unemployment among African American youth has hit an unprecedented low. The poverty rate among African Americans has fallen to the lowest ever recorded.
Unemployment among women is lower than it has been in almost 70 years. And in the past year women filled 72 percent of all newly created positions.
Veteran unemployment has fallen to a record low. Unemployment among Americans with disabilities has hit its all-time low.
Unemployment among workers without a high school diploma is now at its lowest level in US history. A record number of young Americans are employed today.
Under the previous government, more than 10 million people were newly registered as recipients of food stamps. Since I began my tenure, seven million Americans have been without food stamps and 10 million people have left welfare no longer dependent.
Under the previous government, more than 300,000 people of working age have left working life in eight years. In just three years of my administration, 3.5 million people - people of working age - have entered the labor market.
Since I was elected, the net worth of the bottom half of the wage earners has risen over 47 percent - three times as fast as the top one percent. After decades of stagnating or falling incomes, wages are now rising rapidly - and, wonderfully, they are rising particularly rapidly for low-income workers who have seen 16 percent wage growth since I was elected. This is a worker boom.
The real average household income is now at the highest level ever recorded.
Since I was elected, the US stock markets have risen 70 percent, adding more than $ 12 trillion to our nation's prosperity and surpassing anything that could have been thought possible. That's a record. Every country in the world looks up to us for that, admires it. Consumer confidence has just reached amazing new heights.
All of those millions of people with Section 401 (k) of the U.S. Taxes Act and other pensions plans are doing much better than ever with increases of 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 percent, or more.
thanks to the Opportunity Zones, a plan led by Senator Tim Scott as part of the major Republican tax breaks, is investing a lot in 9,000 neglected areas where jobs are being created in abundance. In other words, wealthy people and companies pour money into poor neighborhoods or areas that have not been invested in for many decades, creating jobs, energy and enthusiasm. This is the first time these deserving churches have seen something like this. It all works.
Opportunity Zones help Americans like Army veteran Tony Rankins from Cincinnati, Ohio. After struggling with drug addiction, Tony lost his job, home, and family. He was homeless. But then he found a construction company in Opportunity Zones invested. Now he's a great trader, drug-free and reunited with his family, and he's here tonight. Keep it up, Tony! Tony. Thanks Tony.
Our booming economy gives - for the first time ever - many former prisoners the chance of a great job and a fresh start. This second chance in life is made possible because we have passed a fundamental reform of the criminal law. Everyone has said that criminal law reform is not feasible, but I did it and the people in this room did it.
Thanks to our courageous drive to reduce regulations, the United States is now by far the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world. With the tremendous strides we've made over the past three years, America is now energy independent and energy jobs, like so many other areas, have peaked. We are now reaching numbers that no one would have thought possible just three years ago.
Likewise, we are restoring the productive power of our country, even though, as you all know, it was predicted that it would never be possible. After losing 60,000 factories under the previous two governments, America has now gained 12,000 new factories under my administration, and thousands and thousands of factories and factories are currently being planned or are being built. Companies no longer migrate; they are coming back to the United States. The fact is, everyone wants to be where a lot is going on, and the United States of America is that place.
One of the biggest promises I made to Americans was to replace the disastrous NAFTA agreement. Unfair trading conditions were probably the single most important reason I chose to run for president. After the adoption of NAFTA, our country lost one in four manufacturing jobs. Many politicians came and went, promising to change or replace NAFTA, just to make a promise - but absolutely nothing happened. But unlike many others in front of me, I keep my promises. We have done our job.
Six days ago I replaced NAFTA and passed the brand new agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada. The U.S.M.C.A. will create nearly 100,000 new, well-paid jobs in the American auto industry and massively increase exports for our farmers, ranchers and factory workers. The new agreement will also raise trade with Mexico and Canada to a much higher level and make it much fairer because it is more reciprocal. We have made sure of that: fairness and reciprocity. And I am finally saying this because it has been many, many years since we were dealt fairly in trade.
This is the first major trade deal in many years to have the backing of US unions.
I also promised our citizens that I would introduce tariffs to counter China's massive theft of American jobs. Our strategy worked. A few days ago we signed the groundbreaking new agreement with China that will defend our workers, protect our intellectual property, raise billions of dollars into our national coffers, and open huge new markets for products made and grown here in the United States.
China took advantage of the United States for decades. We have now changed that, but we also have probably the best relations with China that we have ever had, including President Xi. They respect our approach there because, frankly, you could never believe that you really got away with what you did year after year, decade after decade without anyone in our country once saying: “It's enough.” Now we want to rebuild our country, and that is exactly what we are doing. We are rebuilding our country.
As we restore American leadership around the world, we also renew our commitment to freedom in our hemisphere. That is why my government lifted the previous government's failed measures on Cuba.
We support the hopes of Cubans, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans to restore democracy. The United States leads a diplomatic coalition of 59 states against the socialist dictator in Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro. Maduro is an illegitimate ruler, a tyrant who treats his people badly. But Maduro's tyranny will be shattered and destroyed.
There is a very courageous man here tonight who has the hopes, dreams and desires of all Venezuelans. With us here in the audience is the real and legitimate President of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó. Mr President, please take this message back to your home country. Thank you very much, Mr President. A great honor. Many Thanks.
Please carry the message back to your home country that all Americans stand united behind Venezuelans and their righteous struggle for freedom. Thank you very much, Mr President. Many Thanks.
Socialism destroys nations. But always remember: freedom unites the soul.
To secure American freedom, we have invested a record $ 2.2 trillion in the American armed forces. We've bought the best of planes, missiles, missiles, ships, and other military equipment, and everything is made here in the United States.
We are also making sure that our allies finally pay their fair share. I have increased the contributions of other NATO members by more than $ 400 billion, and the number of Allies meeting their minimum commitment has more than doubled.
Just a few weeks ago, for the first time since President Truman launched the Air Force more than 70 years earlier, we created a brand new division of the US armed forces: the Space Force. Very important.
Today a young man is with us in the spectator seats. And it is his lifelong dream - he is 13 years old - Iain Lanphier. He's an eighth grader from Arizona. Iain, please stand up once.
Iain has always dreamed of going into space. He was top of his class and one of the youngest participants in an aviation academy course. He dreams of going to the Air Force Academy and he has his eye on the Space Force. Iain says, “Most people look up into space. I want to look down on earth. "
But behind Iain today sits his greatest hero of all time. Charles McGee was born in Cleveland, Ohio a hundred years ago. He is one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen - the first African American fighter pilots - and also happens to be Iain's great-grandfather. Unbelieveable story.
After more than 130 combat missions in World War II, he returned to a homeland still fought for civil rights, and then served America in Korea and Vietnam. On December 7th, Charles celebrated his 100th birthday. A few weeks ago I signed a letter promoting Charles McGee to brigadier general. Today I pinned the stars on his shoulders in the Oval Office. General McGee, our nation salutes you. Many Thanks.
From the pilgrims to the Founding Fathers, from the soldiers in Valley Forge to the protesters in Selma, from President Lincoln to Martin Luther King, Americans have always rejected the idea that their children's future should have limits.
Honorable Members of Congress, we must never forget that the only victories that matter in Washington are those that benefit the American people. The people are the heart of our country, their dreams are the soul of our country and their love is its foundation and what keeps it alive. We must never forget that it is our job to put America above all else.
The next step forward in building an inclusive society is making sure every young American has a great education and the chance to achieve the American dream. Because for too long, countless American children have not been able to get out of the poor state schools they have to attend. In order to save these students, 18 states have given free choice of schools through opportunity grants (Opportunity Scholarships) created. These are so popular that tens of thousands of students are on waiting lists.
One such student is Janiyah Davis, a fourth grader from Philadelphia. Janiyah. Janiyah's mother Stephanie is a single parent. She would do anything to give her daughter a better future. But last year, that future became even more distant when the Pennsylvania governor rejected a bill that would have expanded free school choice to 50,000 students.
Janiyah and Stephanie sit in the auditorium. Stephanie, thank you for coming here with your wonderful daughter. Many Thanks.
But Janiyah, I have good news for you, because I'm happy to inform you that the long wait is over for you. I can proudly announce tonight that an Opportunity Scholarship has become available and goes to you, and that you will soon be going to the school of your choice.
Now I am calling on Congress to give a million American children the same chance Janiyah just got. Pass the law Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunities Actbecause parents shouldn't be forced to send their children to a poor state school.
Every young person should have a safe environment in which to study and grow up. It is for this reason that our wonderful first lady has the initiative Be Best Launched to promote safe, healthy, and drug-free, supportive living for the next generation - online, in school, and in our communities. Thank you, Melania, for your extraordinary love and deep caring for the children of America. Many Thanks.
My government is determined to give our citizens the opportunities they need, regardless of age or background. Through our promise to American workers (Pledge to American Workers) more than 400 companies will also provide new jobs and education opportunities for nearly 15 million Americans.
My household also includes an exciting vision for our country's high schools. Tonight, I call on Congress to support our students and share my plan to offer professional and technical education programs in every single high school in the United States.
With regard to strengthening equal opportunities, I am also proud that we have achieved record long-term funding for the historically African-American colleges and universities of our country.
A good life for American families also requires the most affordable, innovative, and high quality healthcare system on earth. Before I took office, health insurance premiums had more than doubled in just five years. I did something quickly to create affordable alternatives. Our new insurances cost up to 60 percent less - and are better.
I have also made an iron promise to American families: We will always protect patients with previous illnesses. And we will always protect retirees' health insurance and social security. Always.
American patients should never be surprised by medical care bills. That is why I signed an executive order calling for price transparency. Many experts believe that this transparency requirement, which will take full effect early next year, will be even greater than the reform of the healthcare system. Families will save large sums of money with much better care.
But while we work to improve health care for Americans, there are those who want to take away your health care and doctor and get rid of private insurance altogether.
132 MPs in this room have supported a bill that would force a socialist takeover of our health care system and remove private health insurance for 180 million very happy Americans. To everyone watching from home tonight, I want to say, we will never let socialism destroy American health care.
More than 130 MPs in this chamber have backed a bill that would bankrupt our nation by providing free taxpayer-funded health care to millions of illegal immigrants and forcing taxpayers to fund it to anyone in the world who illegally comes to our country. These proposals would plunder the Medicare benefits our retirees rely on and would be a powerful lure for illegal immigration. This is what happens in California and other states. Their systems are completely out of control and cost taxpayers huge, unaffordable amounts of money.
If it sounds fair to you to force American taxpayers to fund unlimited, free health care for illegal immigrants, then join the radical left. But if you think we should defend American patients and retirees, take my side and pass a law banning free public health care for illegal immigrants.
This will be a great blessing to our already heavily guarded southern border, where a long, high and very powerful wall is being built right now. We have now completed over 100 miles and will complete more than 500 miles in a very short period of time. By the beginning of next year we will have completed well over 500 miles.
My government takes on the big drug companies too. We have approved a record number of affordable generic drugs, and the FDA is reviewing new drugs faster than ever. And I was delighted last year to announce that prescription drug costs fell for the first time in 51 years.
If we work well together in Congress, we can lower drug prices significantly compared to current levels. I spoke to Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and others in Congress to get something done on drug prices, and quickly and thoroughly. I am calling for bipartisan law to dramatically reduce the price of prescription drugs. Bring such a bill to me and I will pass it right away.
We are tirelessly fighting the opioid crisis. For the first time in almost 30 years, the number of people dying from pain medication overdoses is falling. In the hardest-hit states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, deaths are down 22 percent, 18 percent and 10 percent respectively, and we will not give up until we overcome the opioid crisis once and for all.
Fighting infectious diseases is also part of protecting the health of Americans. We are coordinating with the Chinese government and working closely together in connection with the coronavirus outbreak in China. My government will take all necessary steps to protect our citizens from this threat.
We have ambitious new initiatives to improve the way we treat Americans with kidney disease, Alzheimer's disease, and compromised mental health. And because Congress did so well to fund my cause, there are new cures for children with cancer, and we will have the AIDS epidemic in the United States eradicated by the end of this decade.
Almost every American family knows what it is like when a loved one is diagnosed with a serious medical condition. There's a very special man here tonight - millions of Americans love him - who has just been diagnosed with advanced cancer. These are not good news. The good news is that he's the greatest fighter and winner there is. Rush Limbaugh, thank you for your decades of tireless dedication to our country.
And, Rush, in recognition of all that you have done for our country, of the millions of people you speak to and that you are an inspiration to every day, and all of the incredible charitable work you have done, I am proud to announce tonight that you will receive our country's highest civilian honor, the President's Medal of Freedom.
I now ask the First Lady of the United States to present you with the medal. You're welcome.
(The freedom medal is presented.)
Rush and Kathryn, congratulations. Thanks, Kathryn.
As we pray for all the sick, we also know that the United States continues to make new medical breakthroughs. In 2017, doctors at St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City gave birth to one of the earliest premature babies to ever survive. At just 21 weeks and 6 days and weighing less than a pound, Ellie Schneider was born a fighter. The skills of her doctors and her parents' prayers helped Ellie win the battle of life. Today Ellie is a strong and healthy two-year-old who sits up in the spectator seats with her incredible mother, Robin. Ellie and Robin, we are delighted to have you here with us tonight.
Ellie reminds us that every child is a miracle of life. And thanks to modern medical miracles, half of all extremely premature babies born in the hospital where Ellie was born now survive. That's incredible. Many many thanks.
Our goal should be to ensure that every baby has the greatest chance to grow and thrive like Ellie. So I'm asking Congress for an additional $ 50 million to fund neonatal research for America's youngest patients.
That is why I call on the congressmen here tonight to pass laws that will finally ban late-term abortions. Whether we are Republicans, Democrats or independent, we surely all agree that every human life is a sacred gift from God.
We support the mothers and fathers of America, and I was proud to recently sign a law that would give young federal parents parental leave and serve as examples across the country.
Now I call on Congress to pass the bipartisan law to support working families (Advancing Support for Working Families Act)that would give mothers and fathers across the country parental leave.
40 million American families now have an average of $ 2,200 more thanks to our child tax benefit. I also monitored historic increases in funding for quality childcare, which has enabled 17 states to help more children, and waiting lists have been reduced or eliminated in many of those states. And I have put a plan to Congress to improve access to quality childcare even more, and I call on you to act immediately.
To protect the environment, I announced a few days ago that the United States would join the One Trillion Trees Initiative join the ambitious public-private effort to plant new trees in the United States and around the world.
We also need to rebuild the American infrastructure. I urge you to pass Senator John Barrasso's Highway Bill and invest in new roads, bridges and tunnels across the country.
I am also committed to ensuring that all citizens have high-speed internet access, especially in the rural areas of the United States.
A better tomorrow for all Americans also requires that we protect the United States. This means that we must support the men and women who work in law enforcement at all levels, including our heroic staff at the ICE Immigration and Customs Service (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
Last year, our ICE officers arrested more than 120,000 foreign offenders on charges of nearly 10,000 break-ins, 5,000 sexual offenses, 45,000 violent assaults and 2,000 murders.
Tragically, there are many cities in the United States where radical politicians have chosen to give refuge to these criminal, illegally residing aliens.
In these cities of refuge, the local authorities are instructing the police to release dangerous foreign offenders into the public instead of handing them over to the ICE for safe deportation.
Just 29 days ago, a criminal foreigner released from the New York City of Refuge was charged with the brutal rape and murder of a 92-year-old woman. The killer had previously been arrested for assault but released due to New York's refugee policy. If the city had complied with the ICE's request to detain, his victim would still be alive today.
The state of California has passed an outrageous law making the entire state a haven for criminal illegal immigrants - a terrible haven - with disastrous results.
Here is just one tragic example: In December 2018, the California police arrested an illegal immigrant who had already been arrested several times and convicted of, among other things, theft and assault. But according to California refuge regulations, he was released by the local authorities.
A few days later, the illegal immigrant indulged in a deadly orgy of violence. He brutally shot a man who was going about his daily work. He walked up to a woman in her car and shot her in the arm and chest. He walked into a shop and fired his gun wildly around him. He hijacked a truck and crashed it into two vehicles, injuring the innocent victims critically. One of the victims is - a terrible, terrible situation, died - a 51-year-old American named Rocky Jones.
Rocky was at a gas station when this hideous criminal shot him at close range eight times and murdered him in cold blood. Rocky left a family who loved him, including his brothers, to whom he meant more than anything else in the world. One of his grieving brothers is here with us tonight. Jody, would you get up, please? Thanks, Jody. Jody, our hearts mourn your loss with you, and we will not rest until justice is done to you.
Senator Thom Tillis has tabled bill that will allow Americans like Jody to sue cities and states of refuge if a loved one is injured or killed as a result of these fatal practices.
I urge Congress to enforce the Justice for Victims of Cities of Refuge Act (Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act) to say goodbye immediately. The United States of America should be a sanctuary for law abiding Americans, not criminal aliens.
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