President Trump Calls For An End To Partisan Fighting In State Of The Union
By Bill Galluccio
February 5, 2019
President Donald Trump delivered his second State of the Union address to a divided Congress on Tuesday (February 5th) night. During his speech, President Trump touted the many successes of his first two years in office and continued his call for Democrats to fund a section of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump laid out his agenda for the next two years and said that his budget will include a plan for nationwide paid family leave, along with $50 million for research into ending childhood cancer.
On foreign policy, Trump spoke about the ongoing trade war with China and touted the new trade agreement between the United States, Mexico, and Canada. He also announced that he will meet with North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un on February 27 and 28 in Vietnam to continue their negotiations for a denuclearized Korean peninsula. He promised to keep America safe in the fight against terrorism but said that it is time to stop the endless wars we are engaged in.
The president started off his address to Congress by calling for an end to the partisan fighting in Washington D.C. asking lawmakers to "govern not as two parties, but as one nation."
"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."
The president said it is time to "step boldly and bravely into the next chapter of this great American adventure" and begin to work together to "make our communities safer, our families stronger, our culture richer, our faith deeper, and our middle class bigger and more prosperous than ever before."
"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, incredible progress or pointless destruction."
President Trump touted the success of the economy during his first two years in office and pointed out that "African-American, Hispanic-American, and Asian-American unemployment have all reached their lowest levels ever recorded."
"There has been nothing like it. We have created 5.3 million new jobs, and importantly, added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs, something which almost everyone said was impossible to do, but the fact is, we are just getting started."
Trump said the only things that can stop the economy "are foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous, partisan investigations."
"If there is going to be peace in legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just does not work that way. We must be united at home to defeat our adversaries abroad."
The president spoke about the looming partial government shutdown as Republicans and Democrats continue to fight over the funding for the construction of a wall on sections of the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump said that it is "time for Congress to show the world that America is committed to ending illegal immigration and putting the ruthless coyotes, cartels, drug dealers, and human traffickers out of business."
"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 follow the rules and respected our laws. Legal immigrants enrich our nation and strengthen our society in countless ways."
The president explained that the issue of illegal immigration "illustrates the divide between America's working class and America's political class."
"Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards. Meanwhile, working-class Americans are left to pay the price for mass illegal immigration, reduced jobs, lower wages, overburdened schools, hospitals that are so crowded you can't get in, increased crime, and a depleted social safety net."
Trump pointed out that "tens of thousands of innocent Americans are killed by lethal drugs that cross our border and flood into our cities, including meth, heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl."
President Trump promised to uphold his signature campaign promise and build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. He said that his "administration has sent to the Congress a common-sense proposal to end the crisis on our southern border."
"It includes humanitarian assistance, more law enforcement, drug detection at our ports, closing loopholes that enable child smuggling, and plans for a new physical barrier, or wall, to secure the vast areas between our ports of entry. In the past, most of the people in this room voted for a wall— but the proper wall never got built. I'll get it built."
Trump said that building a wall works and pointed out that walls in San Diego, California and El Paso, Texas reduced the number of immigrants who crossed the border illegally.
"This is a smart, strategic, see-through steel barrier — not just a simple concrete wall. It will be deployed in the areas identified by border agents as having the greatest need, and as these agents will tell you, where walls go up, illegal crossings go way down."
President Trump then switched gears to discuss his trade policies. He put China on notice saying that after years of targeting our industries, and stealing our intellectual property, the theft of American jobs and wealth has come to an end."
"Therefore, we recently imposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods — and now our Treasury is receiving billions of dollars a month from — but I don't blame China for taking advantage of us. I blame our leaders and representatives for allowing this travesty to happen. I have great respect for President Xi, and we are now working on a new trade deal with China. But it must include real, structural change to end unfair trade practices, reduce our chronic trade deficit, and protect American jobs."
On healthcare, Trump called it "unacceptable that Americans pay vastly more than people in other countries for the exact same drugs, often made in the exact same place." He called on Congress to put an end to that and asked them to pass a law that "require drug companies, insurance companies, and hospitals to disclose real prices to foster competition and bring costs down."
Trump then transitioned to the issue of abortion. He chastised New York state lawmakers for passing "legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother's womb moments before birth" and asked Congress to pass a law "to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother's womb."
As he neared the end of his speech, Trump said that the "final part of my agenda is to protect America's national security." He promised that his administration "will never apologize for advancing America's interests" and explained why he pulled out of a nuclear arms treaty with Russia.
"While we followed the agreement and the rules to the letter, Russia repeatedly violated its terms. It has been going on for many years. That is why I announced that the United States is officially withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, or INF treaty."
He touted his "bold new diplomacy" and announced the date and location of his next summit with North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un.
"If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea. Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one. Chairman Kim and I will meet again on February 27 and 28 in Vietnam."
The president used the current crisis in Venezuela as an example of why Americans need to reject socialism.
"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."
He said that "America was founded on liberty and independence - not government coercion, domination, and control."
"Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence - not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free."
President Trump laid out his strategy to fight terrorism in the Middle East calling it "one of the most complex set of challenges we face." He promised to work toward putting a stop to endless wars and bring our soldiers home. He also called out Iran as being the "he world's leading state sponsor of terror" and warned that the United States "will not avert our eyes from a regime that chants death to America and threatens genocide against the Jewish people."
He called for end to anti-Semitism and welcomed Judah Samet, who survived the anti-Semitic attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and the Holocoust. It happened to be Samet's 81st birthday, and everybody in attendance sang Happy Birthday.
The president finished his speech by saying that Americans "must choose whether we are defined by our differences — or whether we dare to transcend them."
"This is our future — our fate — and our choice to make. I am asking you to choose greatness. No matter the trials we face, no matter the challenges to come, we must go forward together. We must keep America first in our hearts. We must keep freedom alive in our souls. And we must always keep faith in America's destiny — that one nation, under God, must be the hope and the promise and the light and the glory among all the nations of the world!"
Photo: Getty Images