Washington: President of the United States Donald Trump delivered his first address to Congress on Tuesday proclaiming American greatness and pushing an ambitious agenda of economic nationalism, announcing, "The time for small thinking is over. The time for trivial fights is behind us."
The speech centered around his "America First" campaign themes with the first outlines of a legislative program, Trump opened the possibility of comprehensive immigration deal, pitched $1 trillion for "Buy American, Hire American" infrastructure spending, and said he would propose "historic" tax cuts.
Trump started by recounting his election victory, calling it a "quiet protest" that "became an earthquake."
"People turned out by the tens of millions, and they were all united by one very simple, but crucial demand, that America must put its own citizens first, because only then, can we truly 'Make America Great Again,'" he said.
Immigration has dominated Trump's turbulent five-and-a-half weeks in the White House, and he spoke about his plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and ban travel from seven Muslim majority nations. Trump is expected to issue an updated order Wednesday to revive the travel ban that has been blocked by the courts.
"It is not compassionate, but reckless, to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur," Trump said. "We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America — we cannot allow our nation to become a sanctuary for extremists."
"I believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible, as long as we focus on the following goals: to improve jobs and wages for Americans, to strengthen our nation’s security, and to restore respect for our laws," he said. "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."
"By finally enforcing our immigration laws, we will raise wages, help the unemployed, save billions of dollars, and make our communities safer for everyone," Trump said.
The president's first speech to Congress also included a list of policy proposals. Here's a look at the issues on Trump's list:
Health care: "Mandating every American to buy government approved health insurance was never the right solution for America. The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the costs of health insurance and that is what we will do. Tonight, I am also calling on this Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare, with reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time, provide better health care. Obamacare is collapsing— and we must act decisively to protect all Americans. Action is not a choice – it is a necessity."
Taxes: "My economic team is developing historic tax reform that will reduce the tax rate on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone. At the same time, we will provide massive tax relief for the middle class."
Child care: "My administration wants to work with members in both parties to make child care accessible and affordable to help ensure new parents have paid family leave, to invest in women's health, and to promote clean air and clean water and rebuild our military infrastructure."
Defense: "I am sending Congress a budget that rebuilds the military, eliminates the defense sequester, and calls for one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history. My budget will also increase funding for our veterans. Our veterans have delivered for this nation — and now we must deliver or them."