Highlights from President Trump's 2019 State of the Union
WASHINGTON (SBG) — President Donald Trump's State of the Union covered a wide range of topics. From immigration to foreign policy, here are the main takeaways from the speech.
The State of the Union opened with a strong push for bipartisanship. "Millions of our fellow citizens are watching us now, gathered in this great chamber, hoping that we will govern not as two parties but as one Nation," the president said. "There is a new opportunity in American politics, if only we have the courage to seize it. Victory is not winning for our party. Victory is winning for our country."
The president quickly touted his economic achievements. "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." He also cited a record low minority unemployment rate, a figure that has been steadily declining since Obama's presidency.
The Russia Investigation
Trump once again condemned Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, implying it's getting in the way of American progress. "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 continued, "if there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn't work that way."
Criminal Justice Reform
Introducing Alice Johnson, whose sentence he commuted last year, Trump described his administration's progress on criminal justice reform. "The First Step Act gives non-violent offenders the chance to re-enter society as productive, law-abiding citizens... America is a Nation that believes in redemption." Trump also welcomed Matthew Charles, the first person to be released from prison under the First Step Act.
Trump took the opportunity to reaffirm his call for a barrier on the border. "My Administration has sent to the Congress a commonsense proposal to end the crisis on our southern border... 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."
"No one has benefited more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58 percent of the new jobs created in the last year... Exactly one century after the Congress passed the Constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in the Congress than ever before," the president said to raucous applause and a standing ovation.
Trade and International Relations
The president detailed a number of foreign policy priorities, including the recent withdrawal from the INF Treaty with Russia, and an upcoming meeting with Kim Jong Un in Vietnam. "If I had not been elected president of the United States," Trump said, "we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea."
He also called NAFTA a "historic trade blunder" and "catastrophe." "For years, politicians promised them they would negotiate for a better deal," he said of the pact. "But no one ever tried, until now."
Addressing recent state abortion legislation, Trump called on Congress to "defend the dignity of every person" by passing a law to "prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother's womb."
"Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life."
The president's speech ended in the same way it began, calling on Members of Congress to overcome political and personal differences, and work together toward a common goal.