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2018 State of the Union Address and Reactions




U.S. Capitol

Washington, D.C.

January 30, 2018

9:10 P.M. EST


THE PRESIDENT:  Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and my fellow Americans:


     Less than one year has passed since I first stood at this podium, in this majestic chamber, to speak on behalf of the American people and to address their concerns, their hopes, and their dreams.  That night, our new administration had already taken very swift action.  A new tide of optimism was already sweeping across our land.


     Each day since, we have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous mission -- to make America great again for all Americans.  (Applause.)


     Over the last year, we have made incredible progress and achieved extraordinary success.  We have faced challenges we expected, and others we could never have imagined.  We have shared in the heights of victory and the pains of hardship.  We have endured floods and fires and storms.  But through it all, we have seen the beauty of America's soul, and the steel in America's spine.


     Each test has forged new American heroes to remind us who we are, and show us what we can be.


     We saw the volunteers of the Cajun Navy, racing to the rescue with their fishing boats to save people in the aftermath of a totally devastating hurricane.


     We saw strangers shielding strangers from a hail of gunfire on the Las Vegas strip.


     We heard tales of Americans like Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashlee Leppert, who is here tonight in the gallery with Melania.  (Applause.)  Ashlee was aboard one of the first helicopters on the scene in Houston during the Hurricane Harvey.  Through 18 hours of wind and rain, Ashlee braved live power lines and deep water to help save more than 40 lives.  Ashlee, we all thank you.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.) 


     We heard about Americans like firefighter David Dahlberg.  He's here with us also.  David faced down walls of flame to rescue almost 60 children trapped at a California summer camp threatened by those devastating wildfires.


     To everyone still recovering in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands -- everywhere -- we are with you, we love you, and we always will pull through together, always.  (Applause.) 


     Thank you to David and the brave people of California.  Thank you very much, David.  Great job. 


     Some trials over the past year touched this chamber very personally.  With us tonight is one of the toughest people ever to serve in this House -- a guy who took a bullet, almost died, and was back to work three and a half months later: the legend from Louisiana, Congressman Steve Scalise.  (Applause.)  I think they like you, Steve.  (Laughter.)  


     We are incredibly grateful for the heroic efforts of the Capitol Police officers, the Alexandria Police, and the doctors, nurses, and paramedics who saved his life and the lives of many others; some in this room.  In the aftermath -- (applause) -- yes.  Yes.


     In the aftermath of that terrible shooting, we came together, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as representatives of the people.  But it is not enough to come together only in times of tragedy.  Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people.  This is really the key.  These are the people we were elected to serve.  (Applause.)  


     Over the last year, the world has seen what we always knew: that no people on Earth are so fearless, or daring, or determined as Americans.  If there is a mountain, we climb it.  If there is a frontier, we cross it.  If there's a challenge, we tame it.  If there's an opportunity, we seize it.


     So let's begin tonight by recognizing that the state of our Union is strong because our people are strong.  (Applause.)  And together, we are building a safe, strong, and proud America.


     Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including -- (applause) -- including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone.  Tremendous numbers.  (Applause.)  After years and years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.  (Applause.) 


     Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low.  (Applause.)  It's something I'm very proud of.  African American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded.  (Applause.)  And Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.  (Applause.) 


     Small-business confidence is at an all-time high.  The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion, and more, in value in just this short period of time.  The great news -- (applause) -- the great news for Americans' 401(k), retirement, pension, and college savings accounts have gone through the roof.


     And just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history.  (Applause.) 


     Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small business.  To lower tax rates for hardworking Americans, we nearly doubled the standard deduction for everyone.  (Applause.)  Now, the first $24,000 earned by a married couple is completely tax-free.  (Applause.)  We also doubled the child tax credit.  (Applause.)  A typical family of four making $75,000 will see their tax bill reduced by $2,000, slashing their tax bill in half.  (Applause.) 


     In April, this will be the last time you will ever file under the old and very broken system, and millions of Americans will have more take-home pay starting next month -- a lot more.  (Applause.)  


     We eliminated an especially cruel tax that fell mostly on Americans making less than $50,000 a year, forcing them to pay tremendous penalties simply because they couldn't afford government-ordered health plans.  (Applause.)  We repealed the core of the disastrous Obamacare.  The individual mandate is now gone.  Thank heaven.  (Applause.)   


     We slashed the business tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent, so American companies can compete and win against anyone else anywhere in the world.  (Applause.)  These changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000.  A lot of money.  (Applause.) 


Small businesses have also received a massive tax cut, and can now deduct 20 percent of their business income.


     Here tonight are Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger of Staub Manufacturing, a small, beautiful business in Ohio.  They've just finished the best year in their 20-year history.  (Applause.)  Because of tax reform, they are handing out raises, hiring an additional 14 people, and expanding into the building next door.  Good feeling.  (Applause.) 


     One of Staub's employees, Corey Adams, is also with us tonight.  Corey is an all-American worker.  He supported himself through high school, lost his job during the 2008 recession, and was later hired by Staub, where he trained to become a welder.  Like many hardworking Americans, Corey plans to invest his tax‑cut raise into his new home and his two daughters' education.  Corey, please stand.  (Applause.)  And he's a great welder.  (Laughter.)  I was told that by the man that owns that company that's doing so well.  So congratulations, Corey.    


     Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses -- many of them thousands and thousands of dollars per worker.  And it's getting more every month, every week.  Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers.  (Applause.)  And just a little while ago, ExxonMobil announced a $50 billion investment in the United States, just a little while ago.  (Applause.) 


     This, in fact, is our new American moment.  There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream.


     So to every citizen watching at home tonight, no matter where you've been, or where you've come from, this is your time.  If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve absolutely anything.  (Applause.)  


     Tonight, I want to talk about what kind of future we are going to have, and what kind of a nation we are going to be.  All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family can do anything.


     We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny, and the same great American flag.  (Applause.) 


     Together, we are rediscovering the American way.  In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of American life.  The motto is, "In God We Trust."  (Applause.) 


     And we celebrate our police, our military, and our amazing veterans as heroes who deserve our total and unwavering support.  (Applause.)


     Here tonight is Preston Sharp, a 12-year-old boy from Redding, California, who noticed that veterans' graves were not marked with flags on Veterans Day.  He decided all by himself to change that, and started a movement that has now placed 40,000 flags at the graves of our great heroes.  (Applause.)  Preston, a job well done.  (Applause.) 


     Young patriots, like Preston, teach all of us about our civic duty as Americans.  And I met Preston a little while ago, and he is something very special -- that I can tell you.  Great future.  Thank you very much for all you've done, Preston.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)


Preston's reverence for those who have served our nation reminds us of why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the Pledge of Allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the National Anthem.  (Applause.)


     Americans love their country, and they deserve a government that shows them the same love and loyalty in return.  For the last year, we have sought to restore the bonds of trust between our citizens and their government.


Working with the Senate, we are appointing judges who will interpret the Constitution as written, including a great new Supreme Court justice, and more circuit court judges than any new administration in the history of our country.  (Applause.)


     We are totally defending our Second Amendment, and have taken historic actions to protect religious liberty.  (Applause.)


     And we are serving our brave veterans, including giving our veterans choice in their healthcare decisions.  (Applause.)  Last year, Congress also passed, and I signed, the landmark VA Accountability Act.  (Applause.)  Since its passage, my administration has already removed more than 1,500 VA employees who failed to give our veterans the care they deserve.  And we are hiring talented people who love our vets as much as we do.  (Applause.) 


     And I will not stop until our veterans are properly taken care of, which has been my promise to them from the very beginning of this great journey.  (Applause.) 


     All Americans deserve accountability and respect, and that's what we are giving to our wonderful heroes, our veterans.  Thank you.  (Applause.) 


So, tonight, I call on Congress to empower every Cabinet Secretary with the authority to reward good workers and to remove federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people.  (Applause.)


     In our drive to make Washington accountable, we have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in the history of our country.  (Applause.)


     We have ended the war on American energy, and we have ended the war on beautiful clean coal.  (Applause.)  We are now very proudly an exporter of energy to the world.  (Applause.) 


     In Detroit, I halted government mandates that crippled America's great, beautiful autoworkers so that we can get Motor City revving its engines again.  And that's what's happening.  (Applause.)  Many car companies are now building and expanding plants in the United States -- something we haven't seen for decades.  Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico to Michigan.  Toyota and Mazda are opening up a plant in Alabama -- a big one.  And we haven't seen this in a long time.  It's all coming back.  (Applause.)


Very soon, auto plants and other plants will be opening up all over our country.  This is all news Americans are totally unaccustomed to hearing.  For many years, companies and jobs were only leaving us.  But now they are roaring back.  They're coming back.  They want to be where the action is.  They want to be in the United States of America.  That's where they want to be.  (Applause.)


     Exciting progress is happening every single day.  To speed access to breakthrough cures and affordable generic drugs, last year the FDA approved more new and generic drugs and medical devices than ever before in our country's history.  (Applause.)


     We also believe that patients with terminal conditions, and terminal illness, should have access to experimental treatment immediately that could potentially save their lives.


     People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure.  I want to give them a chance right here at home.  It's time for Congress to give these wonderful, incredible Americans the right to try.  (Applause.)


     One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs.  (Applause.)  In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States.  And it's very, very unfair.  That is why I have directed my administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of my top priorities for the year.  (Applause.)  And prices will come down substantially.  Watch.


     America has also finally turned the page on decades of unfair trade deals that sacrificed our prosperity and shipped away our companies, our jobs, and our wealth.  Our nation has lost its wealth, but we're getting it back so fast.  The era of economic surrender is totally over.  From now on, we expect trading relationships to be fair and, very importantly, reciprocal.  (Applause.)


     We will work to fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones.  And they'll be good ones, but they'll be fair.  And we will protect American workers and American intellectual property through strong enforcement of our trade rules.  (Applause.)


     As we rebuild our industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.  (Applause.)


     America is a nation of builders.  We built the Empire State Building in just one year.  Isn't it a disgrace that it can now take 10 years just to get a minor permit approved for the building of a simple road?  (Applause.)  I am asking both parties to come together to give us safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure that our economy needs and our people deserve.  (Applause.)


     Tonight, I'm calling on Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment that our country so desperately needs.  Every federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with state and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit.  And we can do it.  (Applause.)

     Any bill must also streamline the permitting and approval process, getting it down to no more than two years, and perhaps even one.  Together, we can reclaim our great building heritage.  (Applause.) 


We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways all across our land.  And we will do it with American heart, and American hands, and American grit.  (Applause.)


     We want every American to know the dignity of a hard day's work.  We want every child to be safe in their home at night.  And we want every citizen to be proud of this land that we all love so much.  We can lift our citizens from welfare to work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to prosperity.  (Applause.)


     As tax cuts create new jobs, let's invest in workforce development and let's invest in job training, which we need so badly.  (Applause.)  Let's open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential.  (Applause.)  And let's support working families by supporting paid family leave.  (Applause.) 


     As America regains its strength, opportunity must be extended to all citizens.  That is why this year we will embark on reforming our prisons to help former inmates who have served their time get a second chance at life.  (Applause.) 


     Struggling communities, especially immigrant communities, will also be helped by immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families.


For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities.  They've allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans.  Most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives. 


     Here tonight are two fathers and two mothers: Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado, and Robert Mickens.  Their two teenage daughters -- Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens -- were close friends on Long Island.  But in September 2016, on the eve of Nisa's 16th Birthday -- such a happy time it should have been -- neither of them came home.  These two precious girls were brutally murdered while walking together in their hometown. 


Six members of the savage MS-13 gang have been charged with Kayla and Nisa's murders.  Many of these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as illegal, unaccompanied alien minors, and wound up in Kayla and Nisa's high school. 


     Evelyn, Elizabeth, Freddy, and Robert: Tonight, everyone in this chamber is praying for you.  Everyone in America is grieving for you.  Please stand.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)  I want you to know that 320 million hearts are right now breaking for you.  We love you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)


While we cannot imagine the depths of that kind of sorrow, we can make sure that other families never have to endure this kind of pain.


     Tonight, I am calling on Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminal gangs, to break into our country.  We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws and support our ICE and Border Patrol agents -- these are great people; these are great, great people -- that work so hard in the midst of such danger so that this can never happen again.  (Applause.) 


     The United States is a compassionate nation.  We are proud that we do more than any other country anywhere in the world to help the needy, the struggling, and the underprivileged all over the world.  But as President of the United States, my highest loyalty, my greatest compassion, my constant concern is for America's children, America's struggling workers, and America's forgotten communities.  I want our youth to grow up to achieve great things.  I want our poor to have their chance to rise.


     So, tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties, Democrats and Republicans, to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion, and creed.  (Applause.)  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.  (Applause.)


     Here tonight is one leader in the effort to defend our country, Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Celestino Martinez.  He goes by "DJ" and "CJ."  He said, "Call me either one."  So we'll call you "CJ."  Served 15 years in the Air Force before becoming an ICE agent and spending the last 15 years fighting gang violence and getting dangerous criminals off of our streets.  Tough job. 


At one point, MS-13 leaders ordered CJ's murder.  And they wanted it to happen quickly.  But he did not cave to threats or to fear.  Last May, he commanded an operation to track down gang members on Long Island.  His team has arrested nearly 400, including more than 220 MS-13 gang members.


     And I have to tell you, what the Border Patrol and ICE have done -- we have sent thousands and thousands and thousands of MS-13 horrible people out of this country or into our prisons.   


     So I just want to congratulate you, CJ.  You're a brave guy.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.) 


And I asked CJ, "What's the secret?"  He said, "We're just tougher than they are."  And I like that answer.  (Laughter and applause.)  Now let's get Congress to send you -- and all of the people in this great chamber have to do it; we have no choice.  CJ, we're going to send you reinforcements, and we're going to send them to you quickly.  It's what you need.  (Applause.) 


     Over the next few weeks, the House and Senate will be voting on an immigration reform package.  In recent months, my administration has met extensively with both Democrats and Republicans to craft a bipartisan approach to immigration reform.  Based on these discussions, we presented Congress with a detailed proposal that should be supported by both parties as a fair compromise, one where nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs and must have.  (Applause.) 


     Here are the four pillars of our plan:  The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age.  That covers almost three times more people than the previous administration covered.  (Applause.)  Under our plan, those who meet education and work requirements, and show good moral character, will be able to become full citizens of the United States over a 12-year period.  (Applause.)


     The second pillar fully secures the border.  (Applause.)  That means building a great wall on the southern border, and it means hiring more heroes, like CJ, to keep our communities safe.  (Applause.)  Crucially, our plan closes the terrible loopholes exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter our country, and it finally ends the horrible and dangerous practice of catch and release.  (Applause.)


     The third pillar ends the visa lottery, a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of American people.  (Applause.)  It's time to begin moving towards a merit-based immigration system, one that admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and who will love and respect our country.  (Applause.)


     The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration.  (Applause.)  Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives.  Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children.  (Applause.)  This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security and for the future of America.


     In recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration.  In the age of terrorism, these programs present risks we can just no longer afford.  (Applause.)   


It's time to reform these outdated immigration rules, and finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century.  (Applause.)


     These four pillars represent a down-the-middle compromise, and one that will create a safe, modern, and lawful immigration system.


     For over 30 years, Washington has tried and failed to solve this problem.  This Congress can be the one that finally makes it happen.


     Most importantly, these four pillars will produce legislation that fulfills my ironclad pledge to sign a bill that puts America first.  (Applause.)  So let's come together, set politics aside, and finally get the job done.  (Applause.)


     These reforms will also support our response to the terrible crisis of opioid and drug addiction.  Never before has it been like it is now.  It is terrible.  We have to do something about it.  In 2016, we lost 64,000 Americans to drug overdoses -- 174 deaths per day; 7 per hour.  We must get much tougher on drug dealers and pushers if we are going to succeed in stopping this scourge.  (Applause.)


     My administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need, for those who have been so terribly hurt.  The struggle will be long and it will be difficult, but as Americans always do -- in the end, we will succeed.  We will prevail.  (Applause.)


     As we have seen tonight, the most difficult challenges bring out the best in America.  We see a vivid expression of this truth in the story of the Holets family of New Mexico.  Ryan Holets is 27 years old, an officer with the Albuquerque Police Department.  He's here tonight with his wife Rebecca.  (Applause.)  Thank you, Ryan. 


Last year, Ryan was on duty when he saw a pregnant, homeless woman preparing to inject heroin.  When Ryan told her she was going to harm her unborn child, she began to weep.  She told him she didn't know where to turn, but badly wanted a safe home for her baby.


     In that moment, Ryan said he felt God speak to him: "You will do it, because you can."  He heard those words.  He took out a picture of his wife and their four kids.  Then, he went home to tell his wife Rebecca.  In an instant, she agreed to adopt.  The Holets named their new daughter Hope.  Ryan and Rebecca, you embody the goodness of our nation.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you, Ryan and Rebecca.


     As we rebuild America's strength and confidence at home, we are also restoring our strength and standing abroad.


     Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy, and our values.  In confronting these horrible dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means to our true and great defense.


     For this reason, I am asking Congress to end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military.  (Applause.)


     As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and so powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression by any other nation or anyone else.  (Applause.) 


Perhaps someday in the future, there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons.  Unfortunately, we are not there yet, sadly. 


     Last year, I also pledged that we would work with our allies to extinguish ISIS from the face of the Earth.  One year later, I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated very close to 100 percent of the territory just recently held by these killers in Iraq and in Syria and in other locations, as well.  (Applause.)  But there is much more work to be done.  We will continue our fight until ISIS is defeated.


     Army Staff Sergeant Justin Peck is here tonight.  Near Raqqa, last November, Justin and his comrade, Chief Petty Officer Kenton Stacy, were on a mission to clear buildings that ISIS had rigged with explosive so that civilians could return to that city hopefully soon, and hopefully safely. 


     Clearing the second floor of a vital hospital, Kenton Stacy was severely wounded by an explosion.  Immediately, Justin bounded into the booby-trapped and unbelievably dangerous and unsafe building, and found Kenton, but in very, very bad shape.  He applied pressure to the wound and inserted a tube to reopen an airway.  He then performed CPR for 20 straight minutes during the ground transport, and maintained artificial respiration through two and a half hours and through emergency surgery.


     Kenton Stacy would have died if it were not for Justin's selfless love for his fellow warrior.  Tonight, Kenton is recovering in Texas.  Raqqa is liberated.  And Justin is wearing his new Bronze Star, with a "V" for "valor."  Staff Sergeant Peck, all of America salutes you.  (Applause.)


     Terrorists who do things like place bombs in civilian hospitals are evil.  When possible, we have no choice but to annihilate them.  When necessary, we must be able to detain and question them.  But we must be clear: Terrorists are not merely criminals.  They are unlawful enemy combatants.  (Applause.)  And when captured overseas, they should be treated like the terrorists they are. 


     In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds and hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield -- including the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi, who we captured, who we had, who we released.


     So today, I'm keeping another promise.  I just signed, prior to walking in, an order directing Secretary Mattis, who is doing a great job, thank you -- (applause) -- to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities in Guantanamo Bay.  (Applause.)


     I am asking Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS and al Qaeda, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists, wherever we chase them down, wherever we find them.  And in many cases, for them, it will now be Guantanamo Bay.  (Applause.)


     At the same time, as of a few months ago, our warriors in Afghanistan have new rules of engagement.  (Applause.)


Along with their heroic Afghan partners, our military is no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies our plans.  (Applause.) 


     Last month, I also took an action endorsed unanimously by the U.S. Senate just months before.  I recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  (Applause.) 


     Shortly afterwards, dozens of countries voted in the United Nations General Assembly against America's sovereign right to make this decision.  In 2016, American taxpayers generously sent those same countries more than $20 billion in aid.


     That is why, tonight, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to friends of America, not enemies of America.  (Applause.) 


     As we strengthen friendships all around the world, we are also restoring clarity about our adversaries.


     When the people of Iran rose up against the crimes of their corrupt dictatorship, I did not stay silent.  America stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for freedom.  (Applause.) 


I am asking Congress to address the fundamental flaws in the terrible Iran nuclear deal.


     My administration has also imposed tough sanctions on the communist and socialist dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela.  (Applause.)  


     But no regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea.  North Korea's reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland.  We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from ever happening.


     Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation.  I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this very dangerous position.


     We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and to our allies.


     Otto Warmbier was a hardworking student at the University of Virginia -- and a great student he was.  On his way to study abroad in Asia, Otto joined a tour to North Korea.  At its conclusion, this wonderful young man was arrested and charged with crimes against the state.  After a shameful trial, the dictatorship sentenced Otto to 15 years of hard labor, before returning him to America last June, horribly injured and on the verge of death.  He passed away just days after his return.


     Otto's wonderful parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, are here with us tonight, along with Otto's brother and sister, Austin and Greta.  Please.  (Applause.)  Incredible people.  You are powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world, and your strength truly inspires us all.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  (Applause.)


Tonight, we pledge to honor Otto's memory with total American resolve.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  


     Finally, we are joined by one more witness to the ominous nature of this regime.  His name is Mr. Ji Seong-ho.


     In 1996, Seong-ho was a starving boy in North Korea.  One day, he tried to steal coal from a railroad car to barter for a few scraps of food, which were very hard to get.  In the process, he passed out on the train tracks, exhausted from hunger.  He woke up as a train ran over his limbs.  He then endured multiple amputations without anything to dull the pain or the hurt.  His brother and sister gave what little food they had to help him recover and ate dirt themselves, permanently stunting their own growth. 


Later, he was tortured by North Korean authorities after returning from a brief visit to China.  His tormentors wanted to know if he'd met any Christians.  He had -- and he resolved, after that, to be free.  


     Seong-ho traveled thousands of miles on crutches all across China and Southeast Asia to freedom.  Most of his family followed.  His father was caught trying to escape and was tortured to death.


     Today he lives in Seoul, where he rescues other defectors, and broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears most: the truth.

     Today, he has a new leg.  But, Seong-ho, I understand you still keep those old crutches as a reminder of how far you've come.  Your great sacrifice is an inspiration to us all.  Please.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Seong-ho's story is a testament to the yearning of every human soul to live in freedom.


     It was that same yearning for freedom that nearly 250 years ago gave birth to a special place called America.  It was a small cluster of colonies caught between a great ocean and a vast wilderness.  It was home to an incredible people with a revolutionary idea: that they could rule themselves; that they could chart their own destiny; and that, together, they could light up the entire world.


     That is what our country has always been about.  That is what Americans have always stood for, always strived for, and always done.


     Atop the dome of this Capitol stands the Statue of Freedom.  She stands tall and dignified among the monuments to our ancestors who fought, and lived, and died to protect her.  Monuments to Washington, and Jefferson, and Lincoln, and King.  Memorials to the heroes of Yorktown and Saratoga; to young Americans who shed their blood on the shores of Normandy and the fields beyond; and others, who went down in the waters of the Pacific and the skies all over Asia.

     And freedom stands tall over one more monument: this one.  This Capitol -- this living monument -- this is the moment to the American people.  (Applause.)




     THE PRESIDENT:  We're a people whose heroes live not only in the past, but all around us, defending hope, pride, and defending the American way.


     They work in every trade.  They sacrifice to raise a family.  They care for our children at home.  They defend our flag abroad.  And they are strong moms and brave kids.  They are firefighters, and police officers, and border agents, medics, and Marines.  But above all else, they are Americans.  And this Capitol, this city, this nation, belongs entirely to them.  (Applause.)


     Our task is to respect them, to listen to them, to serve them, to protect them, and to always be worthy of them.


     Americans fill the world with art and music.  They push the bounds of science and discovery.  And they forever remind us of what we should never, ever forget:  The people dreamed this country.  The people built this country.  And it's the people who are making America great again.  (Applause.)


     As long as we are proud of who we are and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve.     As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will never fail.


Our families will thrive.  Our people will prosper.  And our nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free.


     Thank you.  And God bless America.  Goodnight.  (Applause.)


                                                     END                 10:30 P.M. EST

White House Press Office

9:18 p.m. President Donald J. Trump's "American Model" Economy

9:31 p.m. President Donald J. Trump is Reshaping the Government

9:41 p.m. President Donald J. Trump is Promoting Free, Fair, and Reciprocal Trade

9:43 p.m. President Donald J. Trump will Rebuild American Infrastructure and Forge a Path Towards Greater Prosperity

9:49 p.m. President Donald J. Trump Wants Immigration That Makes America Stronger and Safer

10:07 p.m. President Donald J. Trump's Foreign Policy Puts America First

10:14 p.m. President Donald J. Trump Protects America Through Lawful Detention of Terrorists

10:14 p.m. Presidential Executive Order on Protecting America through Lawful Detention of Terrorists

...these were also re-sent by the RNC

The White House
January 31, 2018



Members of Congress

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI): “President Trump said it right—the state of our union is strong. Faith and family are the rightful centers of American life. America’s economic confidence is on the rise. And from the police to the military, the bravery of our men and women in uniform continues to demonstrate why they are the world’s finest.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “…the president emphasized that America is growing again as a result of comprehensive tax reform bill last year. Employees are getting bonuses, pay raises, investments in their IRAs -- America is moving. Consumer confidence is high, the stock market is at a record level. We’re coming out of this economic funk that we were in throughout the Obama years and the president was right to talk about it and to take some credit for the direction America is heading in. We’re growing again – it’s important.”

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA): “The future of America is looking up. In President Trump’s first year, we’ve achieved lower unemployment, more take home pay for the American people, and a stronger economy. ISIS has been beaten back, the stock market is up, and investment is streaming back into America. #SOTU”

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL):  “Tonight the President highlighted his many accomplishments and outlined his plan to continue advancing and unifying our country.  From signing tax reform into law and eliminating restrictive regulations to growing our military and boosting support for veterans, President Trump has prioritized a conservative agenda that promotes a safe and strong America.”

Sen. John Boozman (R-AR): “President Trump’s address was a positive, optimistic message to all Americans. It laid out an opportunity to work together on many pressing issues facing our country. I look forward to working with the president and my colleagues to build on policies that have helped create jobs, grow our economy, improve consumer confidence and let hardworking Americans save and plan for the future. We can continue this momentum by rebuilding our infrastructure. I am encouraged by President Trump’s commitment to improve our crumbling roads and bridges and protect our water supply.”

Sen. David Perdue (R-GA): “Tonight, President Trump delivered a message of optimism that all Americans need to hear. Overall, the president’s first year in office has been nothing short of a huge success. The results speak for themselves.… He is moving at a business-pace, not a bureaucratic-pace. His focus continues to be delivering on his promises and getting results for the American people.”

Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID): “The American people have asked for less taxes, less regulations, more jobs and more security - they are getting exactly that. As the President outlined tonight, we were able to accomplish so many priorities in 2017 including: historic tax reform, unprecedented deregulation, job creation, repeal of a significant portion of Obamacare, reform of the Veterans Administration, degradation of ISIS’ territory and strength, record breaking realignment of the federal judiciary, as well as confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, and the list goes on.”

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA): “President Trump presented an optimistic vision for our country. With our tax cuts legislation already delivering bigger paychecks and better benefits for workers and families, I look forward to working with the president to expand America’s energy dominance, restore respect for the Constitution throughout the judiciary, and make our military second to none.”

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO): “America has come a long way in the first year of the Trump administration. As the president made clear tonight, our economy is finally giving Americans a reason to be optimistic about their future, and the future of their kids and grandkids.”

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC): “I was encouraged to hear President Trump speak about immigration and challenging Congress to fix a problem that has existed for decades. The White House released an immigration framework last week, and I believe it is a reasonable proposal. The framework offers solutions supported by both parties and the American people.”

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH): “Over the last year, we have made progress on a host of important issues. We are already seeing the benefits of the new tax reform law across Ohio with companies giving pay raises and bonuses, expanding benefits and investing more in equipment. The administration has taken action to provide regulatory relief to small businesses and is making permitting reform a priority to reduce needless delays and help us rebuild our infrastructure more quickly.”

Sen. John Thune (R-SD): “During President Trump’s first year in office, the Republican-led Congress and the administration worked together to achieve big things for the American people…. I look forward to building off this momentum to address infrastructure, border security, immigration, and military readiness.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT): “Tonight, the President called attention to the tremendous victories we secured for the American people in 2017. He also drew a roadmap to success, including an ambitious policy agenda for the year ahead—one that will make our country stronger and safer than ever before.”

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY): “President Trump’s address tonight spoke of building a safer and stronger America. His speech was full of the same spirit of optimism and confidence I have heard over the past year from people in Wyoming.”

Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL): “Despite resistance from the Washington establishment, President Trump’s first year has been marked with robust economic growth, job creation, record highs in the stock market and record lows when it comes to unemployment. Because of President Trump’s willingness to shake things up in Washington, and to step over entrenched partisan lines, the State of the Union is strong.”

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL): “Wonderful to hear @POTUS mention the need for greater choice in the VA system.”

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ): “Under President Trump’s leadership, the state of our union is indeed strong. In the first year of his administration, President Trump has unleashed our nation’s limitless economic potential by producing the most expansive tax reform package since the Reagan administration and sweeping reductions in onerous federal regulations, enforced our laws, strengthened our military, nominated constitutionally-minded judges to federal courts, protected life and religious freedom, and sent an unmistakable message to the international community that America will protect her interests before all others.”

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA): “Our economy is growing thanks to the policies enacted by the Republican Congress and the President, but I believe the best is yet to come. Thanks to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act we are seeing a host of job creators investing in their workforce in the form of bonuses, wage increases and other benefits.”

Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA): “The State of the Union Address is one of our nation’s great traditions. It’s an opportunity for us all to reflect on our democratic principles and beliefs and consider priorities for the year ahead. Tonight, as I listened to the president’s address and looked up to our special guests, I was reminded that the state of our union is indeed strong.”

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO): “@POTUS recognized the unity we share as people of this country. #SOTU”

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO): “I applaud @POTUS for acknowledging the need to take care of our American heroes-- Our Veterans. #SOTU”

Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL): “We have made great strides in the fight against terrorism. @POTUS @realDonaldTrump is truly committed to keeping Americans safe at home and abroad. #SOTU”

Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL): “.@POTUS mentions doubling standard deduction, which particularly benefits constituents in my district. #TaxCutAndJobsAct #SOTU”

Rep. Earl “Buddy” Carter (R-GA): “President Trump spoke tonight about the strong state of our union. Over the past year, Congress has worked with President Trump to produce concrete results for the American people.”

Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA): “Under President Trump’s leadership, America is learning anew what it looks like when promises are kept.… Each day brings me more stories of how our unified government led by a dynamic president is fulfilling the hopes of people in northeast Georgia—and unlocking the door to more of their dreams.”

Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL): “I appreciate President Trump using his address to highlight some of the work he and Congress are pursuing to empower America’s families and job creators. Particularly important to Southern Illinois has been the new tax reform law that will give hardworking families more money in their pockets to spend on a child’s education, growing a small business, or saving for the years ahead.”

Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN): “Tonight, President Trump gave his first State of the Union address, outlining the accomplishments of his first year in office and sharing with the nation his vision for moving forward and building a safe, strong and proud America.”

Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN): “2017 was a great year! We delivered on several of President Trump’s key agenda items and tonight he laid out another bold, optimistic vision for 2018. Under President Trump’s leadership, unemployment is at record lows, the economy is booming, and Hoosier workers are keeping more of their paychecks. I look forward to continue working with the President to keep delivering for Hoosiers.”

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN): “President Donald Trump put forth an American First agenda to build a safer, stronger, and prouder country. Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, the forgotten men and women of this country have a voice in the White House and I’m proud to be an ally to drain the swamp and make our nation great again.”

Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN): “I am grateful for @POTUS’s commitment to ending the epidemic and getting treatment for those who need it. #SOTU”

Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA): “The president delivered a positive message and a bold vision for an even stronger and safer America. I look forward to investing again in our eroding infrastructure, solving the illegal immigration problems facing our nation and rebuilding our military to promote peace through strength. We have accomplished so much in just this first year, and I believe that momentum will continue through 2018 and beyond.”

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI): “POTUS is right: Our tax reform efforts are off to a great start but it’s important we keep that momentum going. Just today, Pfizer announced a $5B boost in U.S. #manufacturing b/c of tax reform. #Jobs #SOTU”

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC): “President Trump knows the value of hard work. He understands the dignity of having a good job, and he wants people to be able to achieve a successful life. The President’s whole goal behind his infrastructure plan is creating new jobs for Americans.”

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE): “President’s tone is serious, reflective. @POTUS @realDonaldTrump #SOTU”

Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE): “Inspiring start to #SOTU with introductions of many American heroes who represent the spirit of our great country.”

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM): “I agree w/ @POTUS, our nation’s military deserves our support. We must ensure they have the resources needed to succeed during & after service #SOTU”

Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY): “Tonight we celebrated the policies under President Trump that are putting America first and allowing our economy to thrive. In a truly heartfelt speech, the President expressed his love for his country and the necessity of working across the aisle, especially as we start to rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure.”

Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY): “The opioid epidemic is plaguing our communities. I agree with @POTUS that we need to make sure we get those in need help and put an end to this problem #SOTU”

Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH): “Glad to see the chamber stand united as @POTUS talks about opioids, something Ohio is too familiar with #SOTU.”

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK): “Tonight we heard from President Trump that the state of our Union is safe, strong and proud. It was a unifying message of optimism, but, more importantly, it was an opportunity for the president to show how he is focused on actions that keep American families safe, strengthen our economy and create opportunities for growth.”

Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA): “The American people for too long have been led by politicians who hold special interest over national interest. After President Trump’s first year in office, the unique optimism of the American people has returned, and returned at historic highs.”

Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA): “The President outlined some the major accomplishments of his first year in office. We saw comprehensive Tax Reform become law, and already see the benefits in terms of bonuses and wage increases for millions Nationwide.”

Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA): “I agree @POTUS, we need both parties to come together to give America the safe, fast, reliable, & modern infrastructure our economy needs & people deserve. #SOTU”

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC): “President Trump’s bold address to Congress was an excellent display of leadership and vision. It is refreshing to have a President who has made the people’s priorities his own and who resonates with the goals and aspirations of the American people.”

Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC): “Tonight, President Trump celebrated a long list of achievements from his first year in office. Chief among them – comprehensive tax reform that is already having a transformative effect on our economy. The culmination of his policy achievements has done nothing short of restoring the American dream.”

Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD): “Tonight, we will hear from President Trump in his first State of the Union address, and I’m hopeful he will report that the State of our Union is strong, safe and proud. To me, his first year in office will be remembered as the year in which the American people gained control again.”

Rep. Diane Black (R-TN): “Over the last year, President Trump has shown that he will put America first and I am proud to stand with him. Tonight’s State of the Union address was no different – the President’s speech was optimistic, bold and confident. It was a message to the world that we are proud to be American.”

Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN): “Because the mainstream media rarely credits our accomplishments, tonight’s speech presented an excellent opportunity for the President to speak directly to the public, showing more appreciation for tax cuts now that they are law, and the benefits are real.”

Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN): “Tonight, we heard from a President who is putting West Tennessee and America first. Just one year after President Trump took the oath of office, our economy is the strongest it has been in decades.”

Rep. John Carter (R-TX): “.@POTUS is right - we must strengthen #CTE programs and give every student the opportunity to succeed in a great career they enjoy and are passionate about #SOTU”

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX): “One year after President Trump’s election, the ‘state of the union’ is far better. It is actually far better for millions of families across our nation seeing pay increases, bonuses, and better take home pay. As we follow through on President Trump’s economic growth policies outlined tonight, it will get even better and, dare I say, greater.”

Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX): “The President’s speech communicated how the pro-growth policies from the last twelve months are lifting the American economy up and out from the stagnant status-quo of previous years.”

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX): “I support the President in his effort to crack down on sanctuary cities, combat the infiltration of MS-13 gangs, and secure our communities.”

Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX): “Encouraging words by @realDonaldTrump in first mins of #SOTU telling America we will pull through disaster recovery together.”

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT): .@POTUS is right, tax reform is already helping millions of hardworking Americans! You will continue to see its benefits with bigger paychecks and lower taxes. #SOTU

Rep. Tom Garrett (R-VA): “Tonight, the President reminded Congress and the nation that building a safe, strong and proud America begins with completing important unfinished business to ensure that our country continues to prosper, and our nation remains safe.”

Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA): “Looking forward to this Administration’s leadership on an infrastructure package that reduces red tape, leverages private/public partnerships, addresses priorities for rural Americans, and improves the daily lives of Virginians. #SOTU”

Rep. David McKinley (R-WV): “West Virginia has the highest rate of opioid deaths in the nation. We are the epicenter of this crisis. Glad to hear @POTUS give his strong commitment to ending this scourge. #SOTU”

Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV): “Tonight, President Donald Trump outlined a conservative agenda to make America safer and stronger. I remain committed to helping President Trump implement our shared agenda to make America prosper again.”

House Committee on Natural Resources: “The State of the Union is STRONG. Together, we will make America great again for ALL Americans #SOTU”

State Officials

Governor Kay Ivey (R-AL): “Tonight, President Trump made clear his commitment to the American people and to improving the quality of life for everyone. By protecting our borders, strengthening our military and creating an environment that enhances domestic economic growth, the president underlined his commitment to national security.”

Governor Asa Hutchinson (R-AR): “President Trump’s State of the Union speech was good news for Arkansas on many fronts. We have seen conservative policy changes in D.C. lead to tax cuts, increased wages, bonuses, deregulation, American companies returning to the U.S. and a year-long stock-market streak.”

Governor Matt Bevin (R-KY): “We are all so proud of Corporal (Ret.) Matthew Bradford, a great Kentuckian and one of the special guests in the gallery during tonight’s State of the Union address. Corporal Bradford truly embodies the Kentucky spirit, showing all of America what it means to overcome significant obstacles and to embrace new opportunities. How we deal with adversity has the power to unite us as Americans and, as the President noted, we must continue to rally around the opportunities that are before us—combatting the opioid epidemic, creating jobs, and rebuilding the Nation’s infrastructure.”

Governor Paul LePage (R-ME): “We commend President Trump for the all progress he has made this year, especially on the passage of comprehensive tax reform, which will create jobs, raise wages for families and jumpstart the American economy.”

Governor Phil Bryant (R-MS): “In the past 12 months, President Trump has increased security by making our military stronger, grown our economy by cutting taxes and eliminating regulations and made it clear that America comes first. I am grateful he reinforced his commitment to those values in his State of the Union.”

Governor Doug Burgum (R-ND): “President Trump’s address this evening further underscores our mutual commitment to lifting up all American by working to expand economic opportunity. Through bold tax reform and a continued effort to roll back government overreach, his administration is empowering North Dakotans.”

Governor Pete Ricketts (R-NE): ““In his first year, President Trump has helped spur economic growth through major tax reform and rolling back job-killing regulations. His pro-growth policies have helped the United States achieve its lowest unemployment rate in almost two decades, while pushing the stock market to record highs. President Trump’s focus on infrastructure and continued commitment to growing jobs and the economy for 2018 is common sense.”

Governor Jim Justice (R-WV): “Donald J. Trump is a personal friend of mine and I KNOW how much he cares for each and every one of us in this great nation. We are extremely excited about his infrastructure plan, his clear guidelines for fair trade, and the continuing policies to cut taxes that will create millions of additional jobs.”

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall (R): “President Trump made a commitment to nominate courageous judges, firmly dedicated to the Constitution and the rule of law. As Attorney General of Alabama, I have watched with enthusiasm as he has fulfilled that promise, knowing that there is little that a president could do to be of more encouragement to me and the attorneys in my office.”

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R): “I commend President Trump for inviting two of Louisiana’s best to be his special guests at the State of the Union Address. Ashlee and Jon have both shown immense courage in the midst of the devastation Louisiana and our neighbors have had to endure. It is because of heroes like them that Louisiana is such a bright light for the rest of the country.”

Cabinet Members

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson: “As President Trump emphasizes, we keep America safe when our national security is based on the principle of peace through strength. We will continue to pursue the peaceful denuclearization of North Korea, prevent terrorists from regaining safe havens in Syria and Afghanistan, and hold Iran accountable for its full range of threatening activities. We work closely with allies and partners around the world to achieve all our foreign policy objectives.”

Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin: “The President’s pro-growth agenda is working for the American people. Thanks to tax and regulatory reform, millions of hardworking families are seeing pay raises, special bonuses, new jobs, and more secure retirements. Fair and reciprocal trade will make American businesses even more competitive. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress from both parties to deliver a safe, strong, and proud future for our country.”

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke: “Tonight President Trump spoke from the heart about issues that unite all Americans like rebuilding our infrastructure, improving education, growing the economy, and honoring our veterans and first responders. Already we have seen the President’s policies and tax reform spark greater investments in our energy sector, like in coal and in the Bureau of Land Management’s oil fields in the Permian Basin. Interior stands ready to support the President’s mission to unite and rebuild our great Nation.”

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue: “President Trump’s unifying address to the nation recounted his administration’s impressive achievements in its first year, which have strengthened the economy for all Americans, including those who do the important work in the agriculture sector. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is already helping workers and will allow agricultural producers to invest more in their operations and their own families. President Trump’s optimistic vision for the nation includes massive investment in infrastructure, which will be a boon to a rural America that sorely needs such improvements. His emphasis on fair trade agreements will be music to the ears of farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers, who often depend on international markets for their profitability. Additionally, his attention to the Forest Service is much appreciated as we strive to restore the health of our national forests and put them back to work for the rural communities which depend on their economic viability. This is a president who has rural America and agriculture close to his heart, as his words and deeds clearly demonstrate.”

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross: “President Trump’s State of the Union Address was the best ever (in recent memory): it included the largest tax cuts in history, record stock prices, higher consumer and business confidence than we have seen in decades, record low unemployment – especially for minorities, and slashed red tape like never before. He spoke of a trillion-dollar plan to fix our nation’s infrastructure and his policies that have driven out the caliphate, will equip a military and border that can protect us, will ensure a future for dreamers, and will promote trade that is both fair and reciprocal. What more could we want? These inspirational plans for a safe, strong, and proud America will continue the extraordinary momentum of President Trump’s first term. Bravo!”

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta: “President Trump’s pro-growth, pro-jobs policies are putting Americans back to work and more money in their pockets. Tonight, the President reminded the nation of the great strides America’s economy has made under his leadership, and he laid out an optimistic vision for continued strong economic growth. In the President’s first year in office, the U.S. economy created over 2 million jobs; unemployment fell to 4.1%, a 17-year low; and Americans’ retirement savings have benefited from dramatic gains, fueled by a 40% increase in the stock market since Election Day 2016. Additionally, there has been an overwhelmingly positive response from job creators to the President’s landmark tax reform law. The Department of Labor continues to advance the President’s common sense economic agenda, including growing apprenticeships, expanding access to healthcare, and strengthening the nation’s infrastructure. The American workforce is the greatest in the world, and this Administration will continue to support creation of good, family-sustaining jobs.”

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar: “I commend President Trump for delivering a speech that celebrated the economic boom we have seen under his leadership, which has brought new opportunity and prosperity to the American people. A healthier economy means a healthier America, and we look forward to more such success in the coming year, including through reforms to make healthcare more affordable and accessible for all Americans. The President also deserves tremendous credit for his leadership in addressing the opioid crisis that’s hitting communities all across America. During his first year in office, President Trump has brought a new level of awareness and commitment to this cause, and I look forward to expanding and enhancing our aggressive approach to this scourge of addiction and overdose.”

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson: “Our people are America’s greater resource, and no one understands that better than the President, that’s why he has prioritized creating opportunity for all Americans. The President’s tax reform plan is energizing the economy giving HUD-assisted households increased opportunity to graduate from government assistance and achieve self-sufficiency.”

Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao: “The President highlighted his plan for stimulating growth, creating new jobs, and making our nation stronger and safer. His focus on infrastructure is a historic opportunity to create bipartisan legislation to revitalize our roads and improve the quality of life for all Americans by delivering much needed improvements more quickly, so our country can remain globally competitive. I look forward to working with the President and Congress to improve our infrastructure.”

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry: “Tonight, the American people heard an optimistic and unifying speech from the President. And there is much to be optimistic about…for the first time in 45 years, the United States is positioned to achieve net energy independence, and it will happen under President Trump’s leadership. Common-sense regulatory and tax reform are driving the energy economy and our overall economy to new heights...and every family in America will benefit. The benefits of American leadership will also be felt by families across the globe, as we continue to wisely use our resources to export freedom and energy security to our friends and allies.”

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos: “America must do better to prepare our students for success in the 21st century economy. I join the President in calling on Congress to act in the best interest of students and expand access to more education pathways.”

Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin: “Under President Trump’s leadership, VA is engaged in the largest transformation and modernization effort in decades. As part of this effort, the department is tackling head-on issues that have lingered for years, including accountability, whistleblower protection, improving transparency and customer service for Veterans and expanding suicide prevention and mental health care services. As outlined in tonight’s address, VA will have another groundbreaking year in expanding and improving our services for Veterans, particularly when it comes giving them more choices over their health care decisions, and improving yet again on the timeliness of our decisions on Veterans’ benefits. The whole country was moved when President Trump recognized young Preston Sharp for his dedication and leadership in planting over 40,000 flags at our nation’s cemeteries to recognize America’s heroes. He has inspired hundreds of volunteers across the country who are looking to expand his effort to all 50 states. Well done, Preston — you’re an example to all Americans and everyone who works at VA.”

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen: “Tonight, President Trump delivered a strong and patriotic speech in which he laid out his security-focused agenda. The Department of Homeland Security fully supports this agenda, and the men and women of DHS remain wholeheartedly committed to securing our borders, keeping dangerous criminals off of our streets, and defeating terrorists in our country and around the world. Many of the items on the President’s immigration and border security agenda are things that our frontline officers have asked for, so that they are able to more effectively do their jobs. I thank the President for his steadfast leadership on these issues, and look forward to continuing our mission of keeping the American people safe and secure.”

Administrator of the Small Business Administration Linda McMahon: “As I travel the country visiting with small business owners, I hear a sense of optimism in our economy – entrepreneurs are thrilled to have a President who has proven he has listened to their concerns and acted in their best interests. Small business owners are applauding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and responding by investing in their companies and their employees – raising wages, providing bonuses or increasing benefits, and creating more jobs. Meanwhile, large companies like Apple and Chrysler are bringing billions of dollars back to our shores and planning future investments in America. The GDP is growing at a solid pace, and the stock market is at record highs, increasing the value of college savings and retirement accounts. Economic growth benefits all Americans, and a strong economy is a critical foundation on which we can build other policy priorities like workforce development, infrastructure improvement and national security.”

Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt: “President Trump is getting things done for the American people. America is stronger and safer because the President kept his promise to cut unnecessary and duplicative regulations that shackled American businesses. From repealing the Waters of the U.S. rule and the job-killing Clean Power Plan to cleaning up toxic Superfund sites, EPA is implementing President Trump’s agenda to protect the environment and grow our economy.”

United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer: “After a year of accomplishments by the Trump Administration, America is stronger, more confident and more optimistic. The President’s policies are clearly helping to fuel an economic boom that is creating millions of jobs and putting more money in people’s pockets. His unwavering commitment to promoting America’s interests and insisting on fair and reciprocal trade will deliver even more prosperity to the American people. As the President has said, America is no longer turning a blind eye to unfair foreign trade practices. We are and will continue to strongly enforce our trade laws and defend American workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses.”

Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney: “As President Trump said tonight, this is our new American movement. Building on the success of this Administration’s first year – a booming economy, unequivocal deregulatory action, historic tax reform – the President delivered a sense of optimism; recommitting to his promise for greater economic relief and a safer, more secure homeland. The days are numbered for backdoor schemes and swamp dwellers rigging the system in Washington. The Trump Administration will continue to work hard each day to reverse past trends and move our country in the right direction – a direction that puts the American people first.”

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley: “Tonight, the President made it clear that America is finally leading again. We know our country is always stronger when we take clear action that puts the safety and security of Americans first. For the first time in a long time, our friends know that they can count on the United States to have their backs, and our enemies know that we will no longer give them passes when they threaten American interests. We are standing strong against dangerous and destabilizing regimes that continue to violate their international commitments, as well as terrorist organizations like ISIS that are losing ground and on the run. We are squeezing the North Korean regime with the strongest ever UN Security Council sanctions, and we are sharing with the world concrete evidence of Iran’s destabilizing actions. Across the world, and at the UN, we are standing up for our allies and our ideals again, paying close attention to who stands with us and who goes against us. America will continue to be a generous country – because it is the American way – but as the President has said, we are done writing blank checks to countries who act against us. It’s a new day – and a great day – for America.”

Advocacy & Policy Organizations

American Enterprise Institute Fellow Andy Smarick: “Wow. Huge applause and standing ovation for vocational schools--from both Dems and GOP.”

Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips: “Millions of Americans are now beginning to feel the positive benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and the state of the union is stronger for it. Americans have entered 2018 with a growing sense of optimism as hundreds of companies respond to the new tax policy with bonuses, pay increases, and plans for new investments. This is only the beginning.”

Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Neil Bradley: “Great to hear about infrastructure and workforce development in #SOTU2018. Two key priorities for @USChamber for 2018. Let’s get it done!”

Conservative Partnership Institute Chairman and Former Senator Jim DeMint: “President Trump has spent his first year delivering for conservatives and advancing freedom for all Americans. From repealing billions of dollars in burdensome regulations and cutting taxes to pulling the United States out of the illegal Paris [climate accord] and putting ISIS on the run, the president has a monumental list of achievements to be proud of.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins: “President Trump turned his State of the Union Address into an American pep rally. Cheering the American people for helping one another overcome a year of natural and man-made tragedies, the president cast a winning vision of unity.”

Family Research Council Senior Fellow Ken Blackwell: “I applaud President Trump’s powerful State of the Union address this evening. America has already felt the impact of the major domestic victories of Donald Trump’s first year in office.”

George Mason University’s National Security Institute Founder Jamil Jaffer: “Today’s State of the Union had a strong finish, with the President publicly making the case for a newly assertive America, unafraid of her enemies and unashamed of her allies. The President correctly called for an end to the defense sequester which has hampered our military effectiveness for far too long and instructed the Secretary of Defense to ensure that we have a viable capture option for terrorists that can’t be prosecuted.”

Independent Women’s Voice President and CEO Heather Higgins: “A look back at President Trump’s first year as commander-in-chief shows how serious he is about keeping his promises, how much he has achieved, upending expectations even when everything seems to be going against him, and how he runs rings around conventional wisdom.”

Job Creators Network CEO Alfredo Ortiz: “American business owners have waited almost a decade to hear a State of the Union Address like this one. The President focused heavily on cutting taxes, reducing regulations, and promoting American free enterprise. It was music to our ears.”

March for Life Vice President of Government Affairs Tom McClusky: “Actions speak louder than words and personnel is policy. In both, this administration has been utterly clear that it remains steadfast in its commitment to defending human life.”

Republican Jewish Coalition: “President @realDonaldTrump receives a standing ovation at the mention of the #GOP #TaxReform. Tax reform will nearly double the standard deduction, he notes that Americans will start taking home a lot more in their pay checks! #SOTU”

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council President and CEO Karen Kerrigan: “Entrepreneurs credit President Trump’s leadership in getting things done during his first year. Small business owners are very optimistic about their future and the economy. High confidence, more capital and a renewed can-do spirit signal great things for entrepreneurs in 2018.”

Media Commentary

Forbes Media Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Steve Forbes: “The president tonight was grand and great. He repeatedly hit home runs.”

Fox News’ Ed Henry: “Such an incredibly emotional moment as @realDonaldTrump honors grieving families who lost daughters to #MS13”

Fox Business’ Neil Cavuto: “An incredible speech. Again, whether you support all of his positions or even like him, I have never seen anything like it.”

Fox Business’ Trish Regan: “I thought it was an exceptional speech, beautifully written and importantly, beautifully delivered.”

NBC News’ Kasie Hunt: “Bipartisan applause for President Trump’s call for rebuilding infrastructure.”

NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie: “It was optimistic. It bright. It was conciliatory.”

New York Post’s Seth Mandel: “A+++ for bringing a North Korean refugee. Everyone should hear this. Well done, Mr. President.”
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R): “[He] rivaled Reagan at his very best. No one has ever taken the guests who were there, and woven their personal story into general principles about America as well as Trump did tonight.”


The White House
January 31, 2018


Today, opinion writers and editorial boards are lauding President Trump’s first State of the Union Address as “a bravura performance,” “uplifting,” and “a strong call for unity.”

CNN CONTRIBUTOR SCOTT JENNINGS: Trump Was the Grown-Up in the Room

“Overall, I give the President high marks for a speech well-crafted and well-delivered. It hit the right notes on the economy and used invited guests to effectively to tell the story that Republicans want to tell -- this presidency is keeping promises, revving up the economy, and keeping us safe.”
FOX NEWS’ LIZ PEEK: Trump’s State of the Union Delivered More Drama, Passion, Patriotism than His Hollywood Critics Have All Year

“President Trump’s first-ever State of the Union Address delivered more drama, passion and feel-good patriotism than his critics in Tinseltown delivered all year…. His strong, clear-eyed message of American empowerment appeals. It is hard to deny that our government should put our people first. It is tough to argue that the bureaucracy functions as well as it should, or that security should not be the uppermost concern of our leaders. Most important, Trump has a good story to tell. A story of accomplishment, of lower taxes, better jobs and higher wages.”


“His speech was moving. It was reasonable. It was bipartisan. And it worked. A CBS News-YouGov instant poll found that 75 percent of viewers approved of Trump’s speech while only 25 percent disapproved. Those who approved included 97 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of independents and even 43 percent of Democrats.”

FOX NEWS COMMENTATOR GARY SHAPIRO: Trump’s State of the Union Spoke to America’s Innovative, Entrepreneurial Spirit. Carpe Diem, Everyone

“…President Trump issued a strong call for unity Tuesday night in his State of the Union address, urging all Americans to partner with him in celebrating a ‘new American moment.’… Overall, President Trump’s first State of the Union address spoke to America’s innovative, entrepreneurial spirit.”

THE HILL COMMENTATOR BUCK SEXTON: Trump’s Powerful State of the Union Laid Out 2018 Vision: Prosperity, Borders, Security

“This State of the Union was a celebration, and a mission statement. Trump’s opening litany of economic accomplishments set the tone for the rest of the speech. Stock market highs, record low unemployment, repatriation of overseas cash, massive investment from multinational corporations in U.S.-based jobs — these are all objective and powerful indicators of what the president has been able to achieve thus far for the American people.”

WASHINGTON EXAMINER’S TOM ROGAN: With 56 Words, Trump Confronted the Evil of International Terrorism

“In his first State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, President Trump announced that he has ordered Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to maintain the terrorist detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay. He is right to do so. Yet Trump also hit the right note when he articulated the moral imperative of countering terrorist groups. It took him just 56 words to do so….Those words were apt for two reasons. Their truth and their simplicity.”

INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY EDITORIAL BOARD: Speaking from the Heart, Trump’s Speech Was All Democrats Feared It Would Be

“It was a bravura performance, one of the best in recent history. In one of the better State of the Union speeches in recent memory, the first-time politician Trump pushed all the right buttons, and probably reminded a lot of people why they voted for him instead of his supposedly invincible opponent.”


“It was uplifting in his State of the Union address when Trump used the word strong and strength, 13 times combined, in a quintessentially American way….He referred to America showing ‘steel in its spine’ and and [sic] also said there would be no more ‘surrender.’ These usages evoked several ideas deftly — a return to greatness, a contrast with the weakness and failure of the Obama years, and a firm foundation in the unquenchable American ideals embodied in its striving people.”

THE BLADE (TOLEDO, OHIO) EDITORIAL BOARD: Trump’s State of the Union: A Speech of Choices
“The President gave a good speech tonight. It touched on many things, and many things that need to be done, including an infrastructure bill and a Dreamers bill…. it celebrated what the President accomplished — tax cuts, a booming Wall Street, ballooning 401Ks, and an ISIS that is held in check. Not to mention Apple’s return of funds and reinvestment to America, and Chrysler’s move of a plant from Mexico to Michigan.”

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump  Feb 1

 Thank you for all of the nice compliments and reviews on the State of the Union speech. 45.6 million people watched, the highest number in history. @FoxNews beat every other Network, for the first time ever, with 11.7 million people tuning in. Delivered from the heart!

The White House

February 2, 2018


Polling shows that President Donald J. Trump’s State of the Union Address earned “high marks” from the American people, while commentators continue to applaud his unifying speech.


POLITICO: Poll: Trump SOTU Address Earned High Marks

“President Donald Trump earned high marks for his first State of the Union address, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll of Americans who watched the speech earlier this week. A combined 62 percent of speech-watchers called Trump’s performance ‘excellent’ or ‘good,’ with 17 percent saying Trump did only a fair job, and another 20 percent calling the speech ‘poor.’ The sample consists of Americans aged 18 or older who said they watched the speech, either live or after it happened.”

NBC NEWS: Poll: Majority of Viewers Give Trump a Thumbs-Up for State of the Union Speech

“The majority of Americans who tuned in or followed news coverage of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night thought that the president hit the right notes, according to the results of an NBC News/Survey Monkey poll released Thursday…. Of the 69 percent of Americans who watched the speech or followed the coverage, the majority — 60 percent — said Trump mostly focused on the right things.”

CBS NEWS: Viewers Approve of Trump’s First State of the Union Address - CBS News Poll

“Three in four Americans who tuned in to President Trump’s State of the Union address tonight approved of the speech he gave. Just a quarter disapproved. Eight in 10 Americans who watched tonight felt that the president was trying to unite the country, rather than divide it. Two-thirds said the speech made them feel proud…”

REALCLEARPOLITICS: The Takeaway: The State of Trump’s Union – Positive

“Trump’s SOTU Triumph: The numbers are in for President Trump’s first State of the Union address and it’s clear large majorities of the public liked what they saw and heard on Tuesday night. A snap poll conducted by CBS News/YouGov showed 75 percent approved of Trump’s speech, with another 65 percent saying it made them feel ‘proud.’ A CNN snap-poll found 70 percent saying they had a ‘very positive’ or ‘somewhat positive’ reaction to Trump’s speech. And an NBC News/Survey Monkey poll released Thursday evening showed 60 percent of those who watched the speech said Trump ‘focused on the right things.’ Thirty-five percent said they were ‘enthusiastic’ about the address, with another 21 percent saying they were ‘satisfied’ with it.”


WASHINGTON TIMES CONTRIBUTOR CHARLES HURT: Trump the Orator Outlines the Greatness of America to Democrats’ Disgust

“President Trump has officially transformed himself from merely a great American president into a historic world leader keeping lit the torch of freedom for all people around the world….Mr. Trump joins Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Pope John Paul II and Martin Luther King Jr. in the pantheon of great champions of freedom from the past half-century. In his spectacular State of the Union address, Mr. Trump was America’s biggest cheerleader, celebrating the daring ingenuity and industry that has always made America great. ‘If there is a mountain, we climb it; if there is a frontier, we cross it; if there is a challenge, we tame it; if there is an opportunity, we seize it.’”

FORMER SPEAKER NEWT GINGRICH AT FOX NEWS: Trump's State of the Union Was Very Inclusive – No Wonder It Shook Up Democrats

“Watching and listening to President Trump’s first State of the Union address Tuesday night, I was struck by how wide-ranging and visionary it was….Beyond these moving personal stories, this speech was a powerful collection of reform proposals that outlined a vision for a successful America which, as the president said, has to involve success for all Americans. His theme of making America great again for all Americans is one of the keys to what makes President Trump is so different.”


“Trump’s speech was full of memorable lines: the ‘new American moment,’ ‘Americans are Dreamers, too,’ ‘complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation.’ But perhaps the most memorable line, playing off the president’s campaign slogan, came at the end: ‘It is the people who are making America great again.’ Any dispassionate observer has to acknowledge that over the last year Donald Trump has given a series of great speeches…. And on top of all those was Tuesday night’s speech at the Capitol. Its theme? Putting aside the partisan passions that divide us in order to go forward as a people united in the goal of making a better America.”

THE WASHINGTON TIMES CONTRIBUTOR MATT MACKOWIAK: Sullen Democrats Sit Out Trump’s Offer of Bipartisanship

“The reviews for the speech were uniformly encouraging for the president. Both CNN and CBS News found 70 percent or more of those who viewed the speech rated it positively…. He opened the door to bipartisanship last night and provided clear direction to Congress. Perhaps most importantly, he stirred all Americans with examples of heroic stories, whether it was a North Korean defector raising his crutches, the parents of two children killed by MS-13 gang members, the police officer and his wife who adopted a child who was born to a heroin-addicted mother, or the boy who inspired a movement to place tens of thousands of American flags on the grave sites of veterans. Anyone watching was surely proud to be an American, to live in a country with people who are capable of such strength, courage, generosity and resolve.”

AMERICAN MAJORITY PRESIDENT NED RYUN IN THE HILL: Trump’s State of the Union Speech Was Magnificent

“In his first State of the Union speech, President Trump did exactly what he needed to: He gave a magnificent speech that was nothing short of a home run. At some point the rest of the world is going to realize Trump can give these speeches and hit them out of the park. He took his victory lap, touting the success of the recent tax bill, talking about the three million Americans who have received bonuses from almost 300 companies, and all of that in roughly the first month of the tax bill being enacted.... Trump’s vision for the future of America is one of hope, that we can have more jobs for American workers, that we can have a booming economy and bold, beautiful new infrastructure, and that we can be safe and secure.”


Republican National Committee
January 30, 2018
10:33 p.m.

RNC Statement on President Trump’s State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON – Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel issued the following statement about President Trump’s State of the Union address:

“President Trump’s first year in office has been marked by policies that uplift the American people, strengthen our nation’s economy, and keep our communities safe,” said Chairwoman McDaniel. “From the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to rebuilding our military and working to defeat terrorism, the President has made the well-being of every single American his priority. He is committed to restoring our depleted infrastructure, securing our borders, and pursuing fair trade deals during his next year in office.”

“President Trump’s speech tonight was a home run. Congress needs to unite behind the President’s vision for a safe, strong, and proud America – now and in the years ahead.”


Speaker Ryan Press Office
January 30, 2018

Statement on President Trump's State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement following President Trump’s State of the Union address:

“President Trump said it right—the state of our union is strong. Faith and family are the rightful centers of American life. America’s economic confidence is on the rise. And from the police to the military, the bravery of our men and women in uniform continues to demonstrate why they are the world’s finest.

“The president has delivered on his promises—unleashing America’s energy potential, appointing judges who respect the Constitution, prioritizing religious freedom as an unwavering right, and passing historic tax and regulatory reforms. These tax cuts are putting more money in people’s pockets and injecting new life into the economy. With fewer burdensome regulations, small businesses have greater optimism and opportunities to grow. And with the landmark veterans reforms, we are ensuring those who have sacrificed and served are treated as the heroes they are.

“There is still much work to be done, and the president laid out a clear agenda tonight with an open hand toward bipartisan cooperation. By working together to rebuild our nation’s military, boost infrastructure, develop our workforce, and fix our immigration system, we can continue making America safer and stronger for the 21st century."
National Association of Manufacturers
January 30, 2018

NAM Statement on the 2018 State of the Union Address

Timmons: “Tonight, President Trump Once Again Showed the American People the High Value He Places on Manufacturing in America”

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on tonight’s State of the Union address:

“It was a powerful and historic moment when the President of the United States recognized Steve Staub, Sandy Keplinger and Corey Adams of NAM member Staub Manufacturing Solutions. Hosting them in the First Lady’s box was another demonstration of where the President places manufacturers—in the best seats.

“Their story is the story of manufacturers across the country who are confident in our future, more optimistic than ever before and empowered to invest in our people and our communities. Tonight, President Trump once again showed the American people the high value he places on manufacturing in America.

“The President made 2017 the Year of the Manufacturer with his unrelenting focus on improving the lives of manufacturing workers. Now he is clearly aiming to make 2018 another banner year for manufacturers in America. The NAM and manufacturers across this country stand at the ready to work with leaders in Congress to advance a bold and ambitious agenda to rebuild our nation’s broken infrastructure, upskill our workforce for modern manufacturing jobs, deliver further regulatory relief for the men and women who make things in America, and finally provide a pathway to legal status for those young immigrants who know no other country than ours. That is the path we must take in order to build on the momentum of tax reform and reach new heights in 2018.”

U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - 10:30pm

U.S. Chamber’s Donohue Comments on 2018 State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue today issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address:

“The Chamber agrees that the state of the union is indeed strong, as our economy picks up steam thanks to sweeping regulatory relief and the first major tax reform in 31 years. These pro-growth achievements led by the president, leaders in Congress, and the business community have laid a solid foundation for continued growth. Our priority heading into 2018 is to keep the momentum going by prioritizing policies that will ensure economic growth is strengthened, sustained, and shared all across the country.  

“We share the president’s commitment to modernizing America’s infrastructure and welcome his engagement on badly needed immigration reforms. A modern, efficient, and safe infrastructure system and a skilled, competitive workforce are necessary to keep our economy growing. The U.S. business community is ready to work with the White House and Congress to advance these priorities this year.

“However, the economic gains we’re seeing from regulatory relief and tax reform could be erased if we do not stand up for and protect free, fair, and reciprocal trade around the world. It’s clear that if the U.S. isn’t leading on trade, we’re falling behind. Trade is how we shape the reality of the global economy to benefit American workers and businesses. We will continue to make the case to the administration that free trade agreements, such as NAFTA, are in our nation’s best interests and essential to our long-term growth and competitiveness.

“The Chamber looks forward to advancing pro-growth policies in 2018, and beyond, that will continue to strengthen our economy, help businesses grow and thrive, and create opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.”

Family Research Council
January 30, 2018

Pres. Trump's State of the Union Address Points Way Forward on Making America Good and Prosperous

WASHINGTON, DC -- Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement in response to President Donald Trump's first State of the Union Address:

"President Trump turned his State of the Union Address into an American pep rally. Cheering the American people for helping one another overcome a year of natural and man-made tragedies, the president cast a winning vision of unity. This is a president who is deeply committed to doing something rare in American politics -- fulfilling campaign promises. In governing with courage and conviction, he is advancing policies essential to making America good and prosperous. 

“The president spoke from the heart about our shared values as Americans. One of those values that binds us together is reflected in our motto; that we are one nation under God. President Trump understands that our freedom to unite under God has been under steady assault-- and he's spent the last year reversing this devastating trend. The reality is that if Americans don't have the freedom to live according to their faith -- whether it's in the home, in the workplace, or in school -- then we really can't be free.

“The president tonight noted his ‘historic actions to protect religious liberty.’ This president knows that religious liberty isn't found in political proclamations, but in the policies they inspire. That’s why this president who has not wavered in his determination to preserve freedom for those yet to be born.

“Yes, a lot changed during the Obama years. America went from being a zealous advocate of religious freedom and human rights for all people, to being a promoter of special rights for a few. But tonight’s speech is another reminder that times are changing back again. America now has the ability to promote and protect religious freedom both here and abroad.

"The president also spoke tonight about rebuilding the military. The military continues to recover from years of depleted resources and dangerously low morale as the previous administration treated the military as a laboratory of liberal social experimentation. Those Obama era policies led to chaplains being disciplined for their faith, and religious speech being censored. We must remain vigilant to ensure that laws and military policies protecting religious liberty are enforced, ensuring that service members have the freedom to not only believe, but act on those beliefs.

"President Trump tonight opened the door even wider to policies that make America a good and prosperous nation,” concluded Perkins.


National Center for Public Policy Research

FOR RELEASE: January 30, 2018
Contact: Judy Kent  and David W. Almasi

Black Activists Respond to President Trump's First State of the Union Address

Trump Congratulated on "Well-Written and Well-Delivered Speech" to "Make Americans Freer, Happier and Even More Prosperous"

Washington, DC - Following President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address, black activists with the Project 21 leadership network are available for comment.

In tonight's address, President Trump spoke of a "new American moment" in which "[t]here has never been a better time to start living the American Dream." He touted the approximately 3 million workers receiving bonuses tied to his tax reform package as well as his desire for "every American to know the dignity of a hard day's work." He also said: "Americans love their country, and they deserve a government that shows them the same love and loyalty in return."

During the address, which touched on divisive issues including immigration, taxes and national security, President Trump asked lawmakers "to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve."

Here are some of the immediate reactions from Project 21 members about the President's speech:

  • "Tonight, President Trump reminded us that – by following the principles of freedom and liberty – America has experienced unprecedented growth that includes the lowest black unemployment rate in a generation, the fastest stock market growth in decades and GDP growth not seen in recent times. While major challenges remain, his stewardship over the last year makes it clear that we can build on these achievements and make Americans freer, happier and even more prosperous." – Horace Cooper, co-chairman of Project 21, a former leadership staff member in the U.S. House of Representatives and former constitutional law professor. 
  • "President Trump wasn't just presidential tonight. He highlighted the accomplishments of his first year while calling attention to our desperate need for bipartisan legislation to solve systemic problems facing the nation. At crucial moments, however, liberals failed to rise to the occasion – often withholding their applause or approval. Why wouldn't liberals cheer on the lowest black unemployment rate in 17 years? Or the President's resolve to eradicate the scourge of MS-13 killing innocent Americans?" – Stacy Washington, co-chairman of Project 21, a syndicated talk radio host on the American Family Radio and Urban Family Talk networks and a U.S. Air Force veteran. 
  • "President Trump's State of the Union address tonight showed a president transitioning into the role of Commander-in-Chief. The country is currently very divided, and this speech went a long way in trying to repair that divide. I congratulate President Trump for a well-written and well-delivered speech." –Christopher Arps, Project 21 member, a principal with Red Tail Strategies and co-founder of the black social network.
  • "With a record of helping create 2.3 million jobs, tax reform, historic stock market gains and taking care of our veterans, he's got a lot of accomplishments. Like him or love him, he's getting the job done with flying colors." – Rich Holt, Project 21 member and political campaign strategist.
  • "Whether you love him or hate him, President Donald Trump deserves to celebrate – brag, if you will – about his administration's accomplishments. Yet, when the President brought attention to black unemployment being at historic lows, members of the Congressional Black Caucus remained seated with angry faces – without even a hint or gesture of acknowledging such wonderful news. One would think they would applaud the fact that many of their constituents are now gainfully employed. It shows just how ineffective black congressional leadership is on the left, and drives home the point that President Trump didn't have to meet with the CBC in order to do for its constituents what the CBC members themselves were repeatedly unable to accomplish." – Derryck Green, Ph.D. , Project 21 member with a doctorate in theology and spiritual leadership. 
  • "President Trump promised to encourage us with a message that would help build a safe, strong and prosperous America. He delivered! During this speech, he praised our flag, patriotism and religious liberty. This is a message for all Americans, and it instills pride in each of us. The message of the night was good news for every American, and provides reasons why we must live and work together to keep our nation prosperous and strong." – Emery McClendon, Project 21 member and a Tea Party movement organizer who won Americans for Prosperity's "Activist of the Year" award.
To book an interview with a member of Project 21 about the State of the Union address or another nonpartisan issue affecting black America, contact Judy Kent at (703) 759-7476or (703) 477-7476.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by theNational Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.

Founded in 1982, the National Center for Public Policy Research is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from some 60,000 individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. Sign up for email updates here. Follow us on Twitter at@NationalCenter for general announcements. To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at@NCPPRMedia.


Mike Huckabee

February 1, 2018

#1 Narcissist

By Mike Huckabee
Now that a couple of days have passed, analysts have poured over President Trump’s State of the Union Address and are noticing some interesting things. For instance: Trump, who is constantly accused of being a narcissist, used the word “I” 29 times and “me” once in an 80-minute speech. Instead, he said “we” or “us” much more often. By contrast, in Obama’s first SOTU, he said “I” 88 times and “me” 10 times. He even managed to say “I” four times in one sentence.

On the plus side, I’m sure Mr. Obama will be pleased to learn that he is still the #1 narcissist ever to be President.


official Democratic response:

U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III

Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School

Fall River, MA

[grandson of RFK and grand nephew of JFK]

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. It is an absolute privilege to join you all tonight.

We are here in Fall River, Massachusetts, a proud American city.

An American city built by immigrants.

From textiles to robots, this is a place that knows how to make great things.

The students who are with us here this evening in the auto tech program at Diman Regional Technical School carry on that rich legacy.

Like many American hometowns, Fall River has faced its share of storms. But the people here are tough. They fight for each other. They pull for their city. It is a fitting place to gather as our nation reflects on the state of our union.

This is a difficult task. Many have spent the last year anxious, angry, afraid. We all feel the fractured fault lines across our country. We hear the voices of Americans who are forgotten and feel forsaken.

We see an economy that makes stocks soar, investor portfolios bulge, and corporate profits climb, but fails to give workers their fair share of the reward. A government that struggles to keep itself open. Russia knee-deep in our democracy. An all-out war on environmental protection. A Justice Department rolling back civil rights by the day. Hatred and supremacy proudly marching in our streets. Bullets tearing through our classrooms, concerts, and congregations, targeting our safest, sacred places.

And this nagging, sinking feeling, no matter your political beliefs, that this is not right. This is not who we are.

Folks, it would be easy to dismiss this past year as chaos. Partisanship. As politics. But it’s far, far bigger than that. This administration isn’t just targeting the laws that protect us; they are targeting the very idea that we are all worthy of protection.

For them, dignity isn’t something you’re born with but something you measure, by your net worth, your celebrity, your headlines, your crowd size, not to mention the gender of your spouse, the country of your birth, the color of your skin, the God of your prayers.

Their record is a rebuke to our highest American ideal, the belief that we are all worthy, that we are all equal, that we all count, in the eyes of our law and our leaders, our God and our government.

That is the American promise.

But today, ladies and gentlemen, today that promise is being broken by an administration that callously appraises our worthiness and decides who makes the cut and who can be bargained away. They are turning American life into a zero-sum game, where for one to win, another must lose, where we can guarantee America’s safety if we slash our safety net, where we can extend health care in Mississippi if we gut it in Massachusetts, we can cut taxes for corporations today if we raise them on families tomorrow, where we can take care of sick kids if we sacrifice Dreamers.

We are bombarded with one false choice after another: coal miners or single moms, rural communities or inner cities, the coast or the heartland. As if the mechanic in Pittsburgh, a teacher in Tulsa, and a daycare worker in Birmingham are bitter rivals rather than mutual casualties of a system forcefully rigged towards those at the top.

As if the parent who lies awake terrified that their transgender son or daughter will be beaten and bullied at school is any more or less legitimate than a parent whose heart is shattered by a daughter in the grips of an opioid addiction.

So here is the answer that Democrats offer tonight: We choose both.

We fight — we fight for both. Because the greatest, strongest, richest nation in the world shouldn’t have to leave anyone behind.

We choose — we choose a better deal for all who call our country home. We choose a living wage, and paid leave, and affordable child care your family needs to survive. We choose pensions that are solvent, trade pacts that are fair, roads and bridges that won’t rust away, a good education that you can afford.

We choose a health care system that offers you mercy, whether you suffer from cancer or depression or addiction. We choose an economy strong enough to boast record stock prices and brave enough to admit that top CEOs making 300 times their average worker is not right.

We choose Fall River. We choose the thousands of American communities whose roads aren’t paved with power or privilege, but with an honest effort, with good faith, and the resolve to build something better for your kids.

That — that is our story. It began the day our founding fathers and mothers set sail for a new world, fleeing oppression and intolerance. It continued with every word of our independence, the audacity to declare that all men are created equal, an imperfect promise for a nation struggling to become a more perfect union.

It grew with every suffragette’s step, every Freedom Rider’s voice, and every weary soul we welcomed to our shores.

And to all the Dreamers out there watching tonight, let me be absolutely clear: Ustedes son parte de nuestra historia. Vamos a luchar.

Vamos a luchar por ustedes y no nos vamos alejar. You are part of our story. We will fight for you. And we will not walk away.

America, we carry that story on our shoulders. You swarmed to Washington last year to ensure that no parent has to worry if they can afford to save their child’s life. You’ve proudly marched together last weekend — thousands deep — on the streets of Las Vegas and Philadelphia and Nashville.

You sat high atop your mom’s shoulders and held a sign that read, “Build a wall and my generation will tear it down.”

You bravely say, “Me, too.” You steadfastly say, “Black lives matter.” You wade through flood waters, battle hurricanes, brave wildfires and mudslides to save a stranger. You battle your own, quiet battles every single day.

You drag your weary bodies to that extra shift so that your families won’t feel the sting of scarcity.

You leave loved ones at home to defend our country overseas or patrol our neighborhoods at night.

You serve. You rescue. You help. You heal. That — more than any law or leader, debate or disagreement— that is what drives us towards progress.

Bullies may land a punch. They may leave a mark. But they have never — not once in the history of our United States — managed to match the strength and spirit of a people united in defense of their future.

Politicians can be cheered for the promises they make. Our country will be judged by the promises we keep.

That is the measure of our character. That is who we are. Out of many, one.

Ladies and gentlemen, have faith. Have faith. The state of our union is hopeful, resilient, and enduring.

God bless you. God bless your families. And may God bless the United States of America. Thank you.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Sanders' Full Remarks in Response to State of the Union


WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will deliver a live streamed response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address on Facebook and YouTube. See below for full remarks as prepared: 

State of the Union Response

Senator Bernard Sanders

January 30, 2018

Good evening. Thanks for joining us. 

Tonight, I want to take a few minutes of your time to respond to President Trump’s State of the Union speech.  But I want to do more than just that.  I want to talk to you about the major crises facing our country that, regrettably, President Trump chose not to discuss.  I want to talk to you about the lies that he told during his campaign and the promises he made to working people which he did not keep. 

Finally, I want to offer a vision of where we should go as a nation which is far different than the divisiveness, dishonesty, and racism coming from the Trump Administration over the past year.

President Trump talked tonight about the strength of our economy.  Well, he’s right.  Official unemployment today is 4.1 percent which is the lowest it has been in years and the stock market in recent months has soared.  That’s the good news. 

But what President Trump failed to mention is that his first year in office marked the lowest level of job creation since 2010.  In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 254,000 fewer jobs were created in Trump’s first 11 months in office than were created in the 11 months before he entered office.

Further, when we talk about the economy, what’s most important is to understand what is happening to the average worker.  And here’s the story that Trump failed to mention tonight.

Over the last year, after adjusting for inflation, the average worker in America saw a wage increase of, are you ready for this, 4 cents an hour, or 0.17%.  Or, to put it in a different way, that worker received a raise of a little more than $1.60 a week.  And, as is often the case, that tiny wage increase disappeared as a result of soaring health care costs.

Meanwhile, at a time of massive wealth and income inequality, the rich continue to get much richer while millions of American workers are working two or three jobs just to keep their heads above water.  Since March of last year, the three richest people in America saw their wealth increase by more than $68 billion.  Three people.  A $68 billion increase in wealth.  Meanwhile, the average worker saw an increase of 4 cents an hour.
Tonight, Donald Trump touted the bonuses he claims workers received because of his so-called “tax reform” bill.  What he forgot to mention is that only 2% of Americans report receiving a raise or a bonus because of this tax bill.

What he also failed to mention is that some of the corporations that have given out bonuses, such as Walmart, AT&T, General Electric, and Pfizer, are also laying off tens of thousands of their employees. Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Kleenex and Huggies, recently said they were using money from the tax cut to restructure -- laying off more than 5,000 workers and closing 10 plants.

What Trump also forgot to tell you is that while the Walton family of Walmart, the wealthiest family in America, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon, the wealthiest person in this country, have never had it so good, many thousands of their employees are forced onto Medicaid, food stamps, and public housing because of the obscenely low wages they are paid.  In my view, that’s wrong.  The taxpayers of this country should not be providing corporate welfare to the wealthiest families in this country.

Trump's Broken Promises
Now, let me say a few words about some of the issues that Donald Trump failed to mention tonight, and that is the difference between what he promised the American people as a candidate and what he has delivered as president.

Many of you will recall, that during his campaign, Donald Trump told the American people how he was going to provide “health insurance for everybody,” with “much lower deductibles.”

That is what he promised working families all across this country during his campaign.  But as president he did exactly the opposite.  Last year, he supported legislation that would have thrown up to 32 million people off of the health care they had while, at the same time, substantially raising premiums for older Americans.

The reality is that although we were able to beat back Trump’s effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, 3 million fewer Americans have health insurance today than before Trump took office and that number will be going even higher in the coming months.

During his campaign, Trump promised not to cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.

As president, however, he supported a Republican Budget Resolution that proposed slashing Medicaid by $1 trillion and cutting Medicare by $500 billion.  Further, President Trump’s own budget called for cutting Social Security Disability Insurance by $64 billion.

During Trump’s campaign for president, he talked about how he was going to lower prescription drug prices and take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry which he said was “getting away with murder.” Tonight he said “one of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs.”

But as president, Trump nominated Alex Azar, a former executive of the Eli Lilly Company -- one of the largest drug companies in this country -- to head up the Department of Health and Human Services.

Trump spoke about how in other countries “drugs cost far less,” yet he has done nothing to allow Americans to purchase less expensive prescription drugs from abroad or to require Medicare to negotiate drug prices – which he promised he would do when he ran for president.

During the campaign, Donald Trump told us that: “The rich will not be gaining at all” under his tax reform plan.

Well, that was quite a whopper.  As president, the tax reform legislation Trump signed into law a few weeks ago provides 83 percent of the benefits to the top one percent, drives up the deficit by $1.7 trillion, and raises taxes on 92 million middle class families by the end of the decade.

During his campaign for president, Trump talked about how he was going to take on the greed of Wall Street which he said “has caused tremendous problems for us.

As president, not only has Trump not taken on Wall Street, he has appointed more Wall Street billionaires to his administration than any president in history.  And now, on behalf of Wall Street, he is trying to repeal the modest provisions of the Dodd-Frank legislation which provide consumer protections against Wall Street thievery.

What Trump Didn’t Say
But what is also important to note is not just Trump’s dishonesty.  It is that tonight he avoided some of the most important issues facing our country and the world.

How can a president of the United States give a State of the Union speech and not mention climate change?  No, Mr. Trump, climate change is not a “hoax.”  It is a reality which is causing devastating harm all over our country and all over the world and you are dead wrong when you appoint administrators at the EPA and other agencies who are trying to decimate environmental protection rules, and slow down the transition to sustainable energy.

How can a president of the United States not discuss the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision which allows billionaires like the Koch brothers to undermine American democracy by spending hundreds of millions of dollars to elect candidates who will represent the rich and the powerful?

How can he not talk about Republican governors efforts all across this country to undermine democracy, suppress the vote and make it harder for poor people or people of color to vote?

How can he not talk about the fact that in a highly competitive global economy, hundreds of thousands of bright young people are unable to afford to go to college, while millions of others have come out of school deeply in debt?

How can he not talk about the inadequate funding and staffing at the Social Security Administration which has resulted in thousands of people with disabilities dying because they did not get their claims processed in time?

How can he not talk about the retirement crisis facing the working people of this country and the fact that over half of older workers have no retirement savings?  We need to strengthen pensions in this country, not take them away from millions of workers.

How can he not talk about the reality that Russia, through cyberwarfare, interfered in our election in 2016, is interfering in democratic elections all over the world, and according to his own CIA director will likely interfere in the 2018 midterm elections that we will be holding.  How do you not talk about that unless you have a very special relationship with Mr. Putin?

What Trump Did Talk About
Now, let me say a few words about what Trump did talk about.

Trump talked about DACA and immigration, but what he did not tell the American people is that he precipitated this crisis in September by repealing President Obama’s executive order protecting Dreamers.

We need to seriously address the issue of immigration but that does not mean dividing families and reducing legal immigration by 25-50 percent.  It sure doesn’t mean forcing taxpayers to spend $25 billion on a wall that candidate Trump promised Mexico would pay for.  And it definitely doesn’t mean a racist immigration policy that excludes people of color from around the world.

To my mind, this is one of the great moral issues facing our country.  It would be unspeakable and a moral stain on our nation if we turned our backs on these 800,000 young people who were born and raised in this country and who know no other home but the United States.

And that’s not just Bernie Sanders talking.  Poll after poll shows that over 80 percent of the American people believe that we should protect the legal status of these young people and provide them with a path toward citizenship.

We need to pass the bi-partisan DREAM Act, and we need to pass it now.

President Trump also talked about the need to rebuild our country’s infrastructure.  And he is absolutely right.  But the proposal he is bringing forth is dead wrong.

Instead of spending $1.5 trillion over ten years rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, Trump would encourage states to sell our nation’s highways, bridges, and other vital infrastructure to Wall Street, wealthy campaign contributors, even foreign governments.
And how would Wall Street and these corporations recoup their investments?  By imposing massive new tolls and fees paid for by American commuters and homeowners.

The reality is that Trump’s plan to privatize our nation’s infrastructure is an old idea that has never worked and never will work.

Tonight, Donald Trump correctly talked about the need to address the opioid crisis. Well, I say to Donald Trump, you don’t help people suffering from opioid addiction by cutting Medicaid by $1 trillion.  If you are serious about dealing with this crisis, we need to expand, not cut Medicaid.

Conclusion/A Progressive Agenda
My fellow Americans.  The simple truth is that, according to virtually every poll, Donald Trump is the least popular president after one year in office of any president in modern American history.  And the reason for that is pretty clear.  The American people do not want a president who is compulsively dishonest, who is a bully, who actively represents the interests of the billionaire class, who is anti-science, and who is trying to divide us up based on the color of our skin, our nation of origin, our religion, our gender, or our sexual orientation.

That is not what the American people want.  And that reality is the bad news that we have to deal with.

But the truth is that there is a lot of good news out there as well.  It’s not just that so many of our people disagree with Trump’s policies, temperament, and behavior.  It is that the vast majority of our people have a very different vision for the future of our country than what Trump and the Republican leadership are giving us.

In an unprecedented way, we are witnessing a revitalization of American democracy with more and more people standing up and fighting back.  A little more than a year ago we saw millions of people take to the streets for the women’s marches and a few weeks ago, in hundreds of cities and towns around the world, people once again took to the streets in the fight for social, economic, racial and environmental justice.

Further, we are seeing the growth of grassroots organizations and people from every conceivable background starting to run for office - for school board, city council, state legislature, the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate.

In fact, we are starting to see the beginning of a political revolution, something long overdue.

And these candidates, from coast to coast, are standing tall for a progressive agenda, an agenda that works for the working families of our country and not just the billionaire class.  These candidates understand that the United States has got to join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to all as a right, not a privilege, through a Medicare for All, single-payer program.

They understand that at a time of massive income and wealth inequality, when the top one-tenth of one percent now owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, we should not be giving tax breaks for billionaires but demanding that they start paying their fair share of taxes.

They know that we need trade policies that benefit working people, not large multi-national corporations.

They know that we have got to take on the fossil fuel industry, transform our energy system and move to sustainable energies like wind, solar and geothermal.

They know that we need a $15 an hour federal minimum wage, free tuition at public colleges and universities, and universal childcare. 

They understand that it is a woman who has the right to control her own body, not state and federal governments, and that woman has the right to receive equal pay for equal work and work in a safe environment free from harassment. 

They also know that if we are going to move forward successfully as a democracy we need real criminal justice reform and we need to finally address comprehensive immigration reform.

Yes. I understand that the Koch brothers and their billionaire friends are planning to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in the 2018 mid-term elections supporting the Trump agenda and right-wing Republicans. They have the money, an unlimited amount of money.  But we have the people, and when ordinary people stand up and fight for justice there is nothing that we cannot accomplish. That has been the history of America, and that is our future.

Thank you all and good night.

Working Families Party

WFP Response to State of the Union with Donna Edwards

The following is the full transcript of the Working Families Party response to the State of the Union as prepared for delivery by Donna Edwards: 

Hello and good evening — my name is Donna Edwards. I served eight years in Congress fighting for progressive values, and today I’m a candidate for local office, for County Executive in Prince George’s County, MD. I’m proud to deliver the official Working Families Party response to the State of the Union address this evening.

My fellow Americans, one year into Donald Trump’s presidency we have seen our government run by and for billionaires and promoting racist policies targeting people of color. From the Department of Education to The Environmental Protection Agency, Trump has handed over the levers of government to his billionaire friends and anti-government allies.

The President who stood before the American people tonight is upending the rule of law, destroying institutions, and engaging in an unprecedented purge of the Department of Justice as Special Counsel Mueller closes in on him– all while Congressional Republicans remain silent.

From talk of building walls to travel bans, to devastating cuts to education, tax breaks for the richest among us, undermining voting rights and the rule of law, and attacks on health care, Trump’s policies have hit their mark. And as we heard from his speech tonight, he will continue to demonize the powerless while enriching the most powerful.

There has been one saving grace — and it’s a big one. All across our nation, in communities and neighborhoods just like mine in Prince George’s County, Maryland, the spirit of grassroots resistance and civic renewal burns bright. It is a spirit that has mobilized our communities time and time again to protect the most vulnerable and stand against the looting of our democracy.

As President Trump said tonight, this is an administration whose proudest accomplishment is the Republican tax scam.  Which is more than a scam really — it’s a heist that benefits some of the richest people who have ever lived, perpetrated by their bought-and-paid for puppets in government–in the Executive Branch and in the Republican-controlled Congress. And the rest of us will have to pay for President Trump and his conservative cronies’ greed.

It was Trump and his callous allies in Congress who failed to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program for 9 million children for 114 days, cynically putting children’s health on the line as political pawns.  It was Trump who terminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, and then chose to use almost one million Dreamers and their families as bargaining chips for his border wall. It was Trump who abandoned Puerto Rico and terminated Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, Salvadorans, Nicaraguans and Sudanese people. It was Trump who disparaged these nations and the entire continent of Africa while Congressional Republicans stood quietly on the sidelines.

I’ve been an advocate in my community for over three decades. I served five terms in Congress. I stood up to Republicans, and I’ve taken on the Democratic establishment in my local community and in Congress. But I’m speaking to you this evening not as a political leader, but as one person with a story like many millions of others in this nation who are hurt by Trump administration policies.

About eighteen months ago, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis or MS. It’s an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system affecting more than one million Americans. MS is a chronic illness, but it’s different for everyone. I am fortunate to have received an early diagnosis and I am receiving great care…for now. But for others who live with MS and other chronic illnesses, the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs and medical care can really be expensive without medical insurance.

Through enormous courage and bravery, Americans came together  and stopped the worst parts of Trumpcare from becoming the law of the land. People wrote letters, called and visited their members of Congress by the millions in protest … in red states and blue states. I’ll never forget seeing disabled protesters, including members of ADAPT, put their bodies on the line to fight the Republican healthcare plan. We thought we’d won. We were wrong.

The underhanded cuts to healthcare Trump included in his tax plan and his executive actions pose a serious threat to healthcare still.

Because of the Trump tax scam, a projected 13 million Americans will lose their healthcare altogether, and it will be more expensive for millions of others to maintain their existing care. Unlike many of my former colleagues in Congress, and like so many Americans, I’m not wealthy and so I understand personally how a policy change in Washington buried in a thousand-page tax law can cause too many of our neighbors to pinch their pocketbooks and drain their resources — or not seek care until it’s just too late.

Conservative Republicans like Paul Ryan are already planning to use the  $1.5 trillion dollar deficit created by their tax plan as an excuse to gut Medicare, Medicaid, and nutrition assistance for vulnerable families. They have already promised it — so finding a way to deliver so-called “entitlement reform” by any means necessary would fulfill a long-time dream of the far right. And, Donald Trump will be right there with them.

Tonight, we also heard more details about Trump’s latest con, the Trump infrastructure scheme. Just like the Republican healthcare plan and the Republican tax scam, it’s actually about enriching the wealthy and having the rest of us foot the bill. Trump’s con slashes America’s infrastructure investments, would kill jobs and hand off these projects to Wall Street banks and foreign investors.

Together, we can make sure that President Trump and his agenda does not leave a permanent stain on America. I haven’t given up the fight. That’s why I’m running for Prince George’s County Executive — on the ground getting things done for working people–education, jobs, increasing the minimum wage and beating back monied interests.  I won’t let Trump get in my way, and neither should you.

Look, I got my start in politics as an organizer in my community. I fought for survivors of domestic violence, and I fought against the corrupting role of big money in politics. I’m thrilled to see Americans of all stripes grooming new leaders to take on new activism. We all have a role to play in ensuring our communities thrive no matter what Trump throws at us.

I join many, many thousands of people who, in response to the devastation brought on by the Trump election, decided to step up and run for office. Personally, I’m proud of my former intern, Juwan Blocker, who is running to make a difference on our local school board — not to tweak, but to transform. He joins Wala Blegay, Maurice Simpson and Nicole Williams back home in Prince George’s County who like millennials across the country are ready to take state capitals by storm.

More than one thousand candidates backed by the Working Families Party ran for local and state office last year, and two-thirds of them won.

That includes people like Larry Krasner, the new district attorney in Philadelphia, who ran on a platform of transforming the criminal justice system and ending mass incarceration. People like Crystal Murillo, a 23 year old Latina and daughter of immigrants, who ran for City Council in her home town of Aurora, Colorado, and defeated a Trump-backing, anti-immigrant Republican.

2018 is an opportunity for those of us who believe that America is still for all of us– not just the wealthiest one percent. Together we have an opportunity to block Trump by beating Republicans in Congress, in states and cities, counties and our local communities.

To win, we need to do two things. First, all of us must continue to stand boldly against Trump and Trumpism. We are bigger than the hate that has taken residence in the White House. Shoulder to shoulder we can fight back — whether it’s running for office, making calls to our elected officials or putting our bodies on the line in protest.

Second, we need candidates with bold vision for where we need to go. It’s not enough just to be anti-Trump, though that’s important. We have to bring solutions for rooting out income inequality, structural racism and sexism, and repairing our broken democracy — we had all those challenges before Trump and we need leaders willing to tackle our challenges and meet them with foresight and ingenuity.

That means remaking our government to actually work for the many and not just the few. We need healthcare for all. We need to end Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy, and ensure our nation has the means to invest in our infrastructure, education, good-paying jobs and retirement security.

We need to get big money out of politics, by making elections at every level publicly financed, cutting the cord with developers, banks, big pharma, oil and gas companies, and all the interests that control public policy in states, cities, counties and Congress. We need to make it easier to vote, not harder. Easier to join a union, not harder. Easier to get a good education, not harder or more expensive. We should stand in the gap to restore the dream of DACA, and make sure police spend more time going after corporate crime than tearing apart immigrant families. We must transform the criminal justice system so it serves to keep all communities safe, invest in accountable partnerships between law enforcement and communities, legalize or at a minimum decriminalize marijuana, end the mass incarceration policies that put more people behind bars than any other nation in the world, and ruin millions of lives in the process, and invest in drug treatment, education, and jobs. We must refuse to leave our fellow Americans behind —  half a million Americans are still without electricity in Puerto Rico and still desperately need aid. We must take seriously the threat of climate change and make a plan at every level of government to transition to a clean energy economy by 2050 that will keep our air and our water clean and our planet alive.

We can advance all these goals if we organize. In 2018, together we will elect the next generation of progressive leaders to local, state and federal office. We’re going to shake off Trump’s dark shadow, and we’re going to fight for a real democracy that puts the people first — a democracy rooted in solidarity and justice. I hope you’ll join us by signing up at  I’m inspired by the number of people who ready to join the fight. I hope you’ll stand with me and with the Working Families Party to get organized in 2018 for our values and for our future.

Remember what Shirley Chisholm taught us:  If there’s no seat at the table, bring a folding chair.  This isn’t just about what happens in Washington, it’s about all of us making a difference where we live. Nothing could be more important.

Thank you so much for taking the time to listen. Let’s get this done.

Democratic National Committee rapid response
January 30, 2018
9:17 p.m.  FACT CHECK: Trump’s Economy Is Not Roaring Like He Says It Is

9:19 p.m.  The Trump Tax Is For The Wealthy, Not The Middle Class

9:20 p.m.  FACT CHECK: African-American Unemployment Has Not Dropped Because of Trump

9:26 p.m.  FACT CHECK: The Trump Tax Is Not Trickling Down To Workers

9:35 p.m.  FACT CHECK: Trump Has Done Nothing For Veterans {that is the subject line of the email; the headline reads: Trump Exaggerates His Record On Veterans}

9:39 p.m.  FACT CHECK: Offshoring Increased Under Trump

9:42 p.m.  Trump’s First Year On Trade Policy Was All Talk, No Action

9:44 p.m.  Trump Has Repeatedly Failed To Deliver On His Infrastructure Promises

9:48 p.m.  FACT CHECK: Trump Falsely Blames Immigrants For Crime And Gang Activity

10:03 p.m.  Trump’s Done Nothing To Combat The Opioid Crisis

10:04 p.m.  Trump Lies To Push His Three Immigration Pillars

10:08 p.m.  America’s Standing In The World Has Plummeted Under Trump

10:09 p.m.  Trump Overstates His Role In Achieving Gains Against ISIS

10:32 p.m.  Trump Has Embraced and Emboldened Authoritarian Leaders Around the World

Democratic National Committee
January 31, 2018

SOTU In Review: The Same Divisive Trump

Viewers really did not like Trump’s State of the Union last night, as he got the least positive reaction in at least 20 years. And it’s clear why: We saw the same divisive Trump that has made him historically unpopular. There was no unity, no bipartisanship, and there will be no change. We aren’t the only ones saying it:

Trump’s SOTU was not unifying or bipartisan, it was divisive.

NBC News: “President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address was billed by the White House beforehand as a speech that would be ‘unifying’ and ‘bipartisan.’ It was neither.”

Los Angeles Times Editorial: “In his first State of the Union address, President Trump spoke in an almost conciliatory tone that largely eschewed his usual bluster. Yet the underlying message was his familiar appeal to fear and resentment, particularly toward noncitizens and foreign adversaries.”

Washington Post Editorial: “A divisive and misleading State of the Union”

USA Today Editorial: “Much of the president's 80-minute speech seemed more about inflaming the cultural divide — on issues ranging from kneeling NFL players to detaining terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay — than bridging it.”

Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin: “The contrast between Trump’s paean to unity and the divisions he has wrought could not be wider — and according to polls is acknowledged even by Republicans.”

NBC’s Kasie Hunt: “There was a lot of talk about President Trump delivering an uplifting speech There might be lofty rhetoric — but make no mistake the frame is one that subtly (and sometimes not-so-subtly) inflames the cultural divide between Trump’s America and the America that disdains him”

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes: “The speech has been artless paint-by-numbers stuff (much of which was fine) and standard Paul Ryan supply side bromides, all shot through with standard Trump culture war demagoguery.”

Meghan McCain: “It was a lot more divisive than I anticipated, but I’m sure conservatives will be happy tonight.”

NBC’s Megyn Kelly: “This was a speech for his base.”

Matthew Dowd: “What I was thinking as I was listening to the speech, is that the President met with me after the speech, I would say to him, well, that was how not to give a unifying speech.”

Simply put, there was no new Trump.

CNBC: “President Donald Trump's first State of the Union speech changed nothing. There was no ‘pivot.’ There was no fresh approach to nation's problems or its political stalemate in Washington. There was no new Trump.”

Washington Post’s Hohmann: “No serious person in either party believes that last night represents a real pivot to becoming more ‘presidential.’”

Chicago Sun Times’ Lynn Sweet: “But the words from Trump’s more than hourlong State of the Union will have less influence than one of his Tweets. Here’s my bottom-line analysis of Trump’s first official speech before a joint session of Congress: It won’t change much of anything.”

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer
January 30, 2018

Schumer Response to the State of the Union

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today released the following statement in response to President Trump’s first State of the Union.

“After a long and divisive year, many Americans were yearning for the President to present a unifying vision for the country. Unfortunately, his address tonight stoked the fires of division instead of bringing us closer together.”

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
January 31, 2018

Pelosi Statement on State of the Union Address

Washington, D.C. — Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released this statement on President Trump’s State of the Union Address:

“Tonight, the President presented a self-congratulatory speech without vision.  He promised unity, but sowed division.  America deserves better.”

January 31, 2018

Trump's State of the Union Not Reality for Most Americans

Last night, President Donald Trump gave his first State of the Union address. Working people were quick to point out that most of us don't live in the reality described in the president's speech and when it comes to the issues we care about, actions speak louder than words.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka responded to the speech:
Last night, President Trump painted an everything-being-great picture of America that while optimistic, is not the reality for most working families. That may be how his friends are living, but the working men and women we represent aren’t seeing the same America; and his policies are making it worse. The truth is many of the things he says are undermined by the actual policies he supports.

While he’s rightly acknowledged problems in trade, America’s workers are still victim to corporate-designed deals, and last night he offered no solutions to make NAFTA benefit working people. While he recognizes the crisis of outsourcing jobs, his tax bill actually encourages corporations to do it. While he promises to put America back to work building infrastructure, he actually wants to spend more on a border wall than investing in all of America’s infrastructure for an entire year. And he uses hardworking Dreamers and TPS recipients as a bargaining chip to do it. And slashing regulations, one of his biggest applause lines, really means working people are denied wages and workplaces are less safe.

But, here's the truth: No matter who's sitting in the White House or what they're saying on TV or what they're tweeting, working people are moving forward. We are united around an agenda to secure our economic future—fighting for the freedom to have a voice on the job, share in the wealth we help create and live better lives.
AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said:
President Trump came into office preaching about the need for a safer America, but instead he is putting the lives of federal law enforcement officers and our communities at risk. The men and women who risk their lives guarding our prisons deserve proper staffing levels to ensure they can do their job and make it home safe. This mandate is bad for citizens, it's bad for prison staff, and it's bad for inmates.
AFSCME President Lee Saunders said:
If you’re among the wealthy and powerful corporate class, President Trump’s speech probably sounded pretty good. But for millions of working families, nothing that was said tonight—and nothing that’s happened over the first year of this administration—provided much reassurance or relief.

President Trump continues to pursue an agenda that rigs the economy even more in favor of millionaires and billionaires. It’s the same-old trickle-down scam—Davos elites get rewarded, while working people get a raw deal.

The Trump priorities are clear: lavish tax breaks on CEOs; outsource jobs while starving public services; take health care away from millions; cut education, Medicare and Medicaid; pass a so-called infrastructure plan that does more to enrich hedge fund managers than invest in communities, with working people paying the bill in the form of higher taxes and tolls; gut regulations in order to prioritize corporate profits over workers’ rights; and drive a cruel immigration policy that breaks up families and affronts human dignity.

President Trump has had a year to prove the sincerity of his campaign promises about ‘the forgotten man and woman.’ Instead, he’s done the bidding of wealthy special interests time and time again. AFSCME members—including Virginia State Del. Elizabeth Guzman of Local 3001, who is delivering tonight’s Spanish language response to the State of the Union–will never quit fighting for freedom for all working people.
AFT President Randi Weingarten said:
The test of any president is whether he can unite a country and enact policies that enable broad-based opportunity. On that measure, President Trump’s inaugural State of the Union failed. Sadly, the high points—of lifting up American stories, as every modern president has done; mentioning a litany of one-liners on promoting infrastructure, vocational education and paid leave; and taking on the opioid crisis and escalating drug prices—were overtaken by ugly fear-mongering about immigrants and federal workers.

For anyone who believes that America is a nation of immigrants, that Dreamers should have a home in this country, that workers’ wages should rise, that the rich should not be the biggest winners in the economy, that college and healthcare should be affordable, and that kids should have a ladder of opportunity, you didn’t get that tonight.
Alliance for Retired Americans Executive Director Richard Fiesta said:
There are several things that the President did not say tonight that are troubling for retirees.

He did not mention his campaign promises that he would not cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

This is important because House Speaker Paul Ryan has made a promise time and time again to cut the ‘entitlements’ that millions rely on for basic necessities every day.

Numerous Republican leaders have indicated their desire to enact Medicare and Medicaid cuts, and increased deficits from the tax cuts will provide Congress with excuses to make cuts to these programs. We need the president to make clear that his pledge was not just a campaign gimmick.

President Trump also did not mention that when his tax plan did away with the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, he raised health insurance premiums for 3.3 million people between the ages of 50 and 64.

Nor did the president acknowledge that the Administration recently loosened regulations on accountability for long term care facilities. This scaled back the use of fines against nursing homes that harm residents or place them in grave risk of injury. It was a giveaway to the corporations that run many nursing homes, so it is no surprise that he did not refer to it.

The State of the Union speech that we heard tonight represents an alternate reality that does not reflect what older Americans are up against in 2018.
United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard said:
Much like his time on the campaign trail and his first year in office, the president spent this address talking about how much he has done and will do for workers.

Unfortunately, this rhetoric runs headlong into reality.

The president and congressional Republicans tried to take health care away from millions of families. They showered the wealthy and powerful with huge tax breaks and corporations with long-wanted roll backs in regulations. They’ve done nothing to curtail the outsourcing of good-paying American jobs or to ensure the safety of workers and their communities.

On trade, the president outlined an action plan that, if fully implemented, could begin to reform the failed policies of the past. That is promising, but in many areas we are still waiting for results.

Investigations were launched on steel and aluminum, but workers are still waiting to see what the president will do. NAFTA is being renegotiated, but we wait to see whether an updated agreement will rebalance the benefits so that working Americans gain greater job security and better wages.

The trade deficit with China and the world, fueled by protectionist and predatory practices, continues to rise, and action is long overdue. While some positive steps have been taken, they have been too few and too insignificant.

And now, congressional Republicans are talking about reversing the few good things that have been announced, including rolling back legitimate trade protections.

On infrastructure, the single most important job-creating proposal, workers are still waiting for action.  Initial signals are that the Administration wants to pursue a plan that will line the pockets of Wall Street financiers and allow foreign producers to provide the products that will be used to rebuild our country. That is not what workers expect, not what they heard during the election, and it is not the right way to move forward.

On jobs, raising wages and many other issues, workers are still waiting for the campaign rhetoric to be matched by concrete action. They are becoming increasingly frustrated by a White House and Republican congressional majority more interested in looking out for their own self-interests than serving American families.

American Civil Liberties Union
JANUARY 30, 2018


WASHINGTON — Faiz Shakir, national political director at the American Civil Liberties Union, issued the following statement after President Trump’s first State of the Union address:

“Tonight, President Trump said the word ‘America’ more than 80 times in his speech. Yet, after a divisive first year, we hear and feel how exclusionary that ‘America’ is, with policies that have harmed so many vulnerable American communities. The ACLU stands ready to protect these communities, both in the courts and at the polls.

“In particular, the immigration plan put forth by Trump would hold Dreamers hostage to his demands for a harmful border wall and an even larger mass deportation force. We are at this crossroads because of the president’s deeply destructive ideas fomented by his nativist allies and divisive rhetoric. We will continue to stand up for these young immigrants and ensure they continue to contribute to our country. We cannot let America’s Dreamers be deported.”

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
January 30, 2018
For Immediate Release

President Trump Fails to Address Growing National Debt in State of the Union Speech

President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address on Tuesday. Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said the following:

Missing tonight from the President’s speech was any mention of our growing and unsustainable national debt. Following a year that can only be described as a debt-financed binge, the U.S. is now on track to return to trillion-dollar annual deficits next year. If Congress doesn’t offset the budget deal under negotiation, we could see two-trillion-dollar annual deficits by 2027.
Much of the focus was rightly on the economy, but a sustainable growth plan should be our national objective. Although President Trump focused on the short-term economic boost given by his tax cuts, he ignored that legislation he signed into law during the past year will add roughly $1.9 trillion to the debt between now and the end of a hypothetical second term. High debt is a drag on the economy, and the more positive effects of the tax bill will eventually be overtaken by historic red ink. The President also did not address the ongoing need to address our nation’s largest entitlements, which need to be strengthened.
The debt is a critical issue that requires presidential leadership to fix, and we sincerely hope President Trump and Congress lay out a plan soon to put it on a downward and sustainable path. An excellent first step would be to agree to stop making it worse. With our fiscal situation deteriorating rapidly, continuing our nation’s addiction to debt is no longer an option.

Peter G. Peterson Foundation
Jan 30, 2018


NEW YORK — Michael A. Peterson, President and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, commented this evening on the President’s State of the Union Address. Peterson said

"The President outlined a number of priorities in his speech tonight, but he did not mention the single greatest threat to America’s economic future: our unsustainable national debt.

"Further, the President outlined new initiatives, but didn’t identify ways to pay for his priorities. In order to truly help our economy, infrastructure and other new investments must be paid for, because adding more debt hurts our economy.

"With our national debt at $20 trillion and rising, it is essential that lawmakers address our unsustainable fiscal outlook. Following last year’s tax bill, annual deficits are already slated to reach $1 trillion as early as next year. If programs are important enough to be implemented, they are important enough to find ways to pay for them.

"Americans understand that our national debt is unsustainable, and they are calling on their leaders to find ways to improve the economy and our fiscal outlook at the same time."
Earlier this week, the Peterson Foundation released a poll showing voters across party lines were looking for the President to put forward plans to reduce the national debt during the State of the Union speech:

  • 92% of voters said they believe it’s important for the President to address the country’s national debt problem in the State of the Union speech, with 90% saying it’s important for him to discuss ways to reduce the federal deficit.

American Hotel & Lodging Association


WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 30, 2018 – The following is a statement from Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), in response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address:

“Tonight, President Trump laid out his agenda to seek continued job creation and economic growth. The hotel industry has been one of the key drivers of economic growth, supporting 8 million jobs and generating $1.1 trillion in annual economic activity. With three out of every five hotels considered a small business, the hotel industry is especially focused on policies that encourage business growth and empower our nation’s entrepreneurs. The President touted the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which AHLA supported and we believe will spark economic growth.

“Looking forward, we applaud the President’s commitment to further stimulating economic growth by investing in infrastructure. Our industry recognizes the importance of infrastructure enhancements to supporting travel and tourism. We look forward to learning more about the plan and working with the Administration and Congress to make this a reality.

“The hotel industry thrives because our employees are as global as our guests. We thank the President for his commitment to finding a much-needed solution to our nation’s immigration policy. We support a balanced approach to immigration reform that increases our border security while also meeting our workforce needs. There are several immigration programs that are vital to our industry, which has a large component of international workers. We urge Congress and the White House to find a workable solution to these programs. We also call on Congress and the White House to resolve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Protecting Dreamers is common sense, compassionate and good economic policy. It’s time for Congress to act.

“As we look at our domestic economy and future job creation, the decline in international travel to the United States causes real concern. Travel and tourism is our country’s second largest export. Even though international travel is expanding around the globe, fewer people are choosing to come to the United States. The decline in international visitors to the U.S. has resulted in $32.2 billion in lost spending by those travelers, and 100,000 fewer American jobs. We urge the Administration to send a welcoming message to the world and adopt policies that promote international travel to the United States while maintaining our security. Doing so will help our country reach the President’s domestic economic goals.

“As President Trump begins his second year in the White House, we encourage him to work hand in hand with Congress on policies to bolster our economy, enact immigration reform, and invest in our national infrastructure. We look forward to working closely with the Administration and Congress toward advancing our common goals and building even stronger and more vibrant communities.”


Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the 8 million jobs the U.S. lodging industry supports, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, bed and breakfasts, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support, and educational resources for an industry that advances long-term career opportunities for employees, invests in local communities across the country and hosts more than one billion guests’ stays in American hotels every year. AHLA proudly represents a dynamic hotel industry of more than 54,000 properties that supports $1.1 trillion in U.S. sales and generates nearly $170 billion in taxes to local, state and federal governments. Learn more at

U.S. Apple Association
January 31, 2018

Jim Bair, President & CEO

U.S. Apple Association makes statement on State of the Union message

“The U.S. Apple Association (USApple) is pleased President Trump used his State of the Union address as a platform to speak about the importance of free and fair trade. The one thing that has accomplished the most for free and fair trade in apples, and most of agriculture, is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“The NAFTA agreement is critical to the U.S. apple industry. Since the agreement took effect, American apple growers have quadrupled and doubled their exports to Mexico and Canada, respectively. With a combined value of $430 million annually, these top two exporting countries represent a 46 percent share of U.S. apple exports.

“As American agriculture’s largest export market, with nearly $43 billion annually in exports, NAFTA is important to the entire agriculture industry and the U.S. economy as a whole. The agreement boosts millions of American jobs, commodity markets and critical industry supply chains. NAFTA also allows American agriculture to maintain a competitive advantage in the international trade arena, where preserving and growing access to markets is critical.

“Maintaining these NAFTA markets is a top priority for USApple. We have worked closely with the White House, the U.S. Trade Representative, the Department of Commerce and the Department of Agriculture to convey the significance of preserving our NAFTA trading partnerships. We will continue to aggressively advocate for retaining our export markets.”

Tracy Grondine 
U.S. Apple Association

American Soybean Association
Posted January 31, 2018

ASA Applauds President’s Commitment to Infrastructure Improvements

The American Soybean Association (ASA) applauded the priority placed on improving the nation’s infrastructure in President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address this week.

ASA President John Heisdorffer, a soybean farmer from Keota, Iowa, said that the president’s commitment to work with Congress to fashion an initiative that will generate $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investments to upgrade roads, bridges, highways, railways, waterways and broadband, addresses a priority that is long overdue.

“America’s transportation network is U.S. agriculture’s competitive advantage for reaching world markets at less cost than other exporting countries,” Heisdorffer said. “Brazil and other soybean exporters have been making significant investments in bolstering their railroads and river systems in recent years, while our aging infrastructure continues to deteriorate, causing delays and higher freight costs.”

Heisdorffer added that the emphasis the president placed on investing in rural areas, and to reduce the time required to obtain federal permits for new projects, is welcome news for U.S. soybean farmers.

The U.S. exports an estimated 60 percent of annual soybean production, expected to total four billion bushels in 2018. Together with the Soybean Transportation Council and other industry stakeholders, ASA has been an outspoken supporter for modernizing locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi River system for over 20 years. Upgrading the system would improve efficiency and our global competitiveness by significantly reducing freight costs and delivery times.

American Public Trransportation Association
Virginia Miller

APTA Encouraged by Mention of Infrastructure Initiative in State of the Union but Concerned Proposal May Cut Funding for Public Transit

Statement by APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas
“The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and its 1,500 public and private members were encouraged that President Trump talked about the critical need to move forward with an infrastructure initiative in his State of the Union address.
“Public transportation is an essential component of our nation’s infrastructure and increased investment is needed to fuel the economic growth the President lauded in his speech.  APTA strongly urges President Trump to act on his proposal to dramatically improve our country’s infrastructure, including public transportation.    
“Three out of four Americans support increased public transportation investment, yet we have a $90 billion budget gap to update and modernize America’s public transit systems that serve tens of millions of people and communities of all sizes.  
“A strong federal investment in public transportation needs to be preserved and increased, not cut.  APTA believes that an infrastructure initiative needs to build on the federal surface transportation program authorized in the FAST Act.
“Recent news reports stated the Trump Administration was considering eliminating some public transit federal funding to help pay for an infrastructure initiative.  That action would be a step backwards and counterproductive, as well as harmful to the economy and to the tens of millions of people who depend on public transportation. Additionally, APTA supports the Chamber of Commerce’s position that the federal gas tax, which has not been raised since 1993, should be increased to help pay for surface transportation infrastructure needs.
“Funding for public transportation relies on a strong federal, state, and local partnership.  Infrastructure has always been a bipartisan issue and now is the time for both parties to come together to strengthen our nation’s infrastructure and create a prosperous future.”

​ ​#   #   #
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products. 

National Association of Counties
January 30, 2018

National Association of Counties Responds to State of the Union Address, Welcomes Bipartisan Call for Investing in America

The National Association of Counties (NACo) responded to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address with the following statement from NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase:

“We welcome President Trump’s call for bipartisanship and unity. We will continue to partner with the administration and Congress to achieve our shared priorities.

“Our nation is blessed with many opportunities, yet we also face serious challenges, from the opioid epidemic to health care, from jobs to housing and infrastructure – and counties need a reliable federal partner to address them. Partnerships are critical when it comes to fulfilling our nation’s infrastructure needs.

“Counties invest significantly in infrastructure – physical and human – roads and bridges, public facilities, water and sewer systems, broadband and telecommunications. We own and maintain 46 percent of all public road miles and 39 percent of the nation’s bridge inventory. We are involved in a third of the nation’s public transportation systems and airports that connect residents, communities and businesses.

“Investing in infrastructure means investing in every American community. With President Trump’s commitment to strengthening our infrastructure, we stand ready to work across the span of society – with the public, private, nonprofit sectors – to reinvest in our communities.

“Counties represent America’s diversity – urban, suburban, rural, blue, red and everything in between. Regardless of these differences, we are united behind the mission of serving our residents. Now is the time for action, and we look forward to achieving results with our state and federal partners.”
To view NACo’s 2018 federal policy priorities, click here.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) unites America’s 3,069 county governments. Founded in 1935, NACo brings county officials together to advocate with a collective voice on national policy, exchange ideas and build new leadership skills, pursue transformational county solutions, enrich the public’s understanding of county government and exercise exemplary leadership in public service.


Libertarian National Committee

For immediate release
Jan. 31, 2018
Contact: Elizabeth Brierly

Libertarian Party response to 2018 State of the Union

Hello, I’m Nicholas Sarwark, chairman of the Libertarian Party. Tonight, the president gave a speech on the state of the Union to Congress. It was a mixture of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sadly, more of the latter, too.

Let’s start with the good stuff. The president called for Congress to pass right-to-try legislation. That would be legislation that would let terminally ill people get experimental medications that would potentially save their lives, and get government out of the way. That’s good.

He called for reducing regulations, and actually pointed out that this administration has reduced regulations more than any other administration in history. That’s also good, because every government regulation that goes away is another rule about how you live your life or run your business or raise your family that’s no longer standing between you and your pursuit of happiness.

He talked about the booming economy, which is really good, although not really the government’s fault. That’s the fault of people like you, working hard to feed your families and build a better life for yourselves. But we’ll give him credit for that, because there’s not really that much else.

There were tax cuts, and a lot of Americans are going to spend less on their tax bill.

The Libertarian Party supports that. That shifts us into the bad a little bit, though, because with those tax cuts there were no government spending cuts. And everyone knows the simple math that if you don’t bring in as much money, but you keep spending as much money, you’re going to add to the national debt.

Even worse, the president called for a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill — $1.5 trillion. There’s not going to be any more money to spend on that, and the government only gets money by taxing, so what that really means — to break it down into terms that are meaningful to you or me — is $4,658 for every man, woman, and child in this country. Since that money’s not going to be paid for now, that means that you and I won’t pay for it. It’ll be our children and our grandchildren crippled with a national debt that’s completely untenable, that will crush their dreams. So, that’s probably not so good.

Another bad thing: The president talked about trying to fix the VA — fix the system that deals with our injured vets — and that’s a noble goal. But the best thing that we could do as a country for our injured vets is to stop making so many of them. It’s time to end our overseas wars, and stop bringing home our sons and daughters broken and injured.

The president called to expand the military. That’s terrible. Now we’re getting into the ugly, because every dollar that would be spent to expand the military takes food off of your table to send our sons and daughters overseas to fight and die in other countries’ civil wars, rather than raise their children and build a life here at home.

The president called to keep Guantanamo Bay open, to continue to have unlawful enemy combatants that are not treated to the same legal standards that we treat everybody under the American system of justice. That’s ugly. America is built on American values. America won two world wars without losing sight of our values. We gave trials to literal Nazis. If we can do that, we can win the war on terror without losing the values that we’re fighting for in the first place. It’s time to close Guantanamo. It’s time to deal with things like Americans.

The president talked about the opioid crisis. The opioid crisis in this country really has been made worse by the war on drugs. When the government prohibits drugs, it makes people into criminals — not just addicts. When it gets in-between doctors and patients, what we’ve found is that by stopping doctors from prescribing legal medications the patients turn to illegal medications like heroin and fentanyl. They become addicted, and then they’re afraid to get help because they’re afraid that they’ll be in the criminal justice system; they’ll be locked up; they’ll be unable to find a job.

We heard a story tonight of an addicted mother who gave her daughter Hope up for adoption so that she would have a chance to live a life that was safe, in spite of her mother’s choices. There are millions of Americans right now, millions of people in this country who’ve grown up here, who were brought here by their parents — not through their choice, but their parents’ choice. They’ve gone to school here; they’ve worked here; they’re part of the fabric of America. And those millions of people should not be held hostage to an immigration scheme that would build a wall, cripple our economy, and break up families. It’s time for Congress to act to protect these millions of Dreamers who are just looking for their own home. Without any preconditions. Without giving in to immigration schemes that are bad for our country.

The Libertarian Party has a vision for America where government barriers are taken down. Where every American has the right and the freedom to pursue happiness however they choose, to raise their family, to run their business, to live the American dream without government telling them what to do. If you share that vision, join us at

We’ll be running over 2,000 candidates nationwide who share this vision for a better America.

People like you and me standing up to create a freer America, where government is less involved in our life and the state of our union is even stronger.

Thank you for watching. Good night, and good luck.


Green Party of the United States
For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Scott McLarty, Green Party Media Director
Greens speak out on the State of the Union
Post-speech comments and Q&A by Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka on GreenStream

The Green Party aired a simulcast of the president's speech on GreenStream, the party's livestream channel, with post-speech comments and Q&A by Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka, the 2016 Green presidential and vice-presidential candidates respectively. Craig Seeman (Green Party of New York) was technical producer for the broadcast. The comments and Q&A can be viewed here.

Video responses by Green Party leaders and candidates to the State of the Union are posted on here. Greens also live-tweeted on the party's Twitter page during the speech.

Green Party rebuttals to President Trump's State of the Union

Climate Change
ExxonMobil's $50 billion investment in the U.S., praised by Mr. Trump in his speech, comes at a time when drastic measures are needed to reduce consumption of fossil fuels and the power of oil companies.

In November 2017, more than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries warned that humanity is facing "widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss... Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory." The scientists sounded an alarm on greenhouse gas emissions, temperature change, ocean dead zones, and depleted freshwater resources, vertebrate species, and total forest cover.

During the State of the Union, the president boasted of expanded fossil fuel use (especially "clean coal" -- which doesn't exist) and reduced corporate regulation, in line with the reckless and anti-scientific skepticism of the Republican Party despite recent predictions of more extreme effects.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party acknowledges the threat of climate change but has refused to endorse steps necessary against the crisis. President Obama blocked international agreements to reduce CO2 emissions from being legally binding and the 2016 Democratic platform rejected carbon taxes and excluded limits on drilling and fracking.

Greens have proposed a way to avert a global climate catastrophe, convert to a 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030, ensure financial stability, address human needs, and provide millions of new jobs in clean, renewable energy technology, retrofitting homes and buildings for energy efficiency, expanded mass transportation for a sharp reduction in care traffic, and other measures.

This plan is called the Green New Deal.

Global warming went unmentioned in Mr. Trump's speech and in Rep. Joe Kennedy's response on behalf of Democrats. The Green Party remains the only political party that takes the crisis seriously.

Health care
President Trump promised to reduce the price of prescription drugs, but GOP reforms will only worsen the Affordable Care Act's defects. Both major parties remain loyal to generous for-profit insurance, pharmaceutical, and other health lobbies.

The Green Party calls for Single-Payer national health care (Improved Medicare For All), the only solution that will make medical care universal, drastically reduce costs, and save Americans from financial ruin over a medical emergency. Greens call for health care to be recognized as a human right, not a commodity.

Military spending, nuclear arms, and foreign policy
President Trump's call for more nuclear weaponry is further evidence of his loyalty to Pentagon generals and dedication to military imperialism, the permanent wartime economy, and grossly bloated U.S. military budgets -- nearly $700 billion in the proposed Fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which has bipartisan support.

The Green Party calls deep cuts in military funding (except for veterans's services) with redirection of such to money to human needs; global nuclear disarmament; closing of Guantanamo Bay and U.S. bases around the world; diplomacy and adherence to international law to resolve international conflict; a halt to U.S. aid for countries that violate human rights, including Israel for its brutal apartheid system and Saudi Arabia in its continuing assault on Yemen; and an end to Mr. Trump's insults and reckless threats aimed at North Korea, Iran, and other nations.

Greens see a glimmer of hope in current negotiations between North and South Korea undertaken independently of the Trump Administration.

Greens are equally concerned over Democrats' revival of the Cold War, with McCarthyite allegations against those who engage in political dissent (some directed at Jill Stein and the Green Party) and an embrace of neocon foreign policies. This mentality has resulted in tacit approval among many liberals for corporate censorship of ideas on the Internet.

The Green Party calls for a new peace movement that recognizes the belligerence of both the Democratic and Republican parties. See also commentary by Ajamu Baraka, 2016 Green vice-presidential nominee and founder of Black Alliance for Peace.

Greens called President Trump's focus on gang violence committed by a small number of immigrants a slanderous and racist attempt to stoke fear and hatred. In reality, undocumented immigrants are statistically more law-abiding than the general U.S. population.

Republican enthusiasm for criminalizing and deporting immigrants -- bolstered by Democratic compromises during the recent government shutdown -- have been used to justify the president's repeal of DACA and barring of refugees seeking asylum, many fleeing countries like Honduras where bipartisan U.S. support for brutally repressive governments led them to seek shelter in the U.S.

The Green Party calls for human rights for immigrants, an end to Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids and deportations of immigrants, preservation of DACA, and a welcome to those fleeing violence and poverty.

Post-hurricane aid for Puerto Rico and other damaged areas
In the wake of hurricanes that have inflicted devastation on Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Texas, and other areas, the Trump Administration has been slow to provide funds, fresh water, medicine, food, shelter, electrical power, and other kinds of relief. President Trump was silent about Puerto Rico during his State of the Union address.

On Monday, it was announced that FEMA would stop sending food and water to Puerto Rico. According to reports from Puerto Rico, many people still depend on FEMA rations.The Green Party calls this decision premature.

The Green Party continues to support independence, self-determination, and self-government for Puerto Rico and cancellation of the island's massive debt. Greens noted that the storms are evidence of increasing climate stability as average global temperatures continue to rise. 

Real Resistance

Greens said that those who reduce The Resistance to "Restore Democrats to Power" are offering no resistance at all.

The Democratic Party, competing with the GOP for checks from the One Percent, has abandoned working people across the U.S. Both parties pretend that economic recoveries and prosperity for the corporate sector and the rich mean good news for everyone. In reality, wages have stagnated. Financial security and protections for working people continue to shrink.

Placing corporate-money Democrats back in public office will be an invitation for future GOP victories, with the possibility of Republicans even worse than Trump.

Real resistance means changing the dangerous direction of the U.S., which can only begin to happen by opening the political field to more than the Two Parties of War and Wall Street.

Donald Trump won the 2016 election because voters who didn't want Hillary Clinton prevailed over voters who didn't want Mr. Trump. In other words -- more than any other reason -- we got President Trump because of the two-party election dynamic.

The Green Party has an alternative vision for the future of America, for working people, and for Planet Earth. That vision can become a reality when millions of Americans declare their independence from the two neoliberal parties and business as usual.

See also:
Green Party marks Dr. King's birthday, 50th anniversary of Poor People's Campaign
Press release: Green Party of the United States, January 15, 2018

Video: Statement on Dr. King's birthday by Deanna Dee Taylor
Green Party Women's Caucus urges passage of HR bill upholding human rights for children
Press release: Green Party of the United States, January 3, 2018
Green Party: Democrats and Republicans have launched an evidence-free McCarthyite campaign to discredit Jill Stein and Greens
Press release: Green Party of the United States, December 20, 2017
Green Party leaders speak out against the Republican tax bill
Press release: Green Party of the United States, December 13, 2017

Green Party of the United States