President Donald Trump celebrated the ‘incredible progress’ and ‘extraordinary success’ that his administration has made in the year since he took office as he began his State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Trump held up the GOP’s tax cut legislation a major milestone, praising companies like Apple and ExxonMobile that are expanding and investing as a result of the break.
And he asked for applause for Republicans’ party-line repeal of his predecessor’s namesake legislation as a part of the same tax-cut program, saying ‘We repealed the core of the disastrous Obamacare. The individual mandate is now gone.;
‘This is in fact our new American moment. There had never been a better time to start living the American Dream,’ Trump declared from the House chamber.
Trump called on lawmakers to ‘set aside our differences’ and to ‘seek out common ground’ in the speech in which he called on elected officials to ‘summon the unity we need to deliver for the people.’
‘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,’ Trump said in the remarks to a joint session of Congress. ‘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.’
U.S. President Donald Trump listens to applause as he prepares to give his first State of the Union speech
Trump holds up his speech as US Vice President Mike Pence (left) and Speaker of the House US Rep Paul Ryan look on during the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives
Trump celebrated the ‘incredible progress’ and ‘extraordinary success’ that his administration has made on Tuesday as he began his State of the Union address
The president’s youngest son Barron stayed behind and his wife, Melania (pictured arriving at the Capitol), traveled to Capitol Hill ahead of him to greet her guests
Trump called on lawmakers to ‘set aside our differences’ and to ‘seek out common ground’ in the speech in which he called on elected officials to ‘summon the unity we need to deliver for the people’
The president was joined in the House of Representatives tonight by his wife, Melania, and his adult children. His youngest son, Barron, stayed behind.
But President Trump was not alone in his motorcade as he made the ride across town, with his chief of staff, John Kelly, joining him in an outfitted limousine known as the Beast.
Three senior aides who helped the president craft his message were also seen following Trump out of White House on Tuesday evening: Staff Secretary Rob Porter, National Economic Council head Gary Cohn and Senior Policy Advisor Stephen Miller.
The first lady entered the gallery of the House of Representatives as her husband was en route – stunning attendees with a creme suit and silk blouse.
Moments later the president’s Cabinet entered the room. They were followed by Trump himself and GOP leaders.
The president shook the hands of Republican lawmakers crowding the aisle to reach him, including Kansas’ Kevin Yoder and Texas’ Louie Gohmert. He greeted Supreme Court justices and gave Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford a pat on the shoulder.
Trump was also seen greeting Democratic Sen Dick Durbin, whom he’s been feuding with over a claim that he called Haiti and African nations ‘s***hole countries’ in a private meeting with legislators.
In the remarks that are expected to consume 60 minutes of prime time programming, Trump called for a ‘new American moment’ of unity and bipartisanship, selling his 2017 tax-cut success and arguing for his administration’s tranche of immigration goals.
‘There has never been a better time to start living the American dream,’ the president said.
The president was spotted earlier departing the White House to deliver his first address to a joint session of Congress in DC
The White House said the First Lady (left and right) left early to be with her guests, but she is reported to have been furious at the publication of an account by porn star Stormy Daniels of sex with her husband when their son Barron was four months old
First lady Melania Trump applauds with second lady Karen Pence (left) during Trump’s State of the Union address
The White House said the First Lady left early to be with her guests, but she is reported to have been furious at the publication of an account by porn star Stormy Daniels of sex with her husband when their son Barron was four months old.
As Trump headed to the Capitol his adult children were already gathering on Capitol Hill, but so too were black-clad Democratic women trying to hitch a ride on the MeToo movement.
In what he has called an unexpected dividend of the cash infusion that businesses will see as a result of a lower tax rate, both large and small companies distributed end-of-year bonuses – a point Trump will drive home.
‘Roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses, many of them thousands of dollars per worker,’ he said, taking credit for ‘the biggest tax cuts and reform in American history’.
As the president prepares to cut a deal over immigration policy with Democratic lawmakers, he will frame his proposals as humanitarian efforts.
But Trump was not alone in his motorcade, with his chief of staff, John Kelly, joining him in the presidential limousine known as the Beast
Trump’s son-in-law and daughter Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump arrive before the State of the Union address
US Vice President Mike Pence (left) and Speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan arrive for the State of the Union address
Members of Congress arrive to the State of the Union address in the chamber of the US House of Representatives
But administration officials told Bloomberg that there would be scant mention of specifics.
Trump won’t emphasize that his call for comity applies equally to his plan to save the DACA program in exchange for more robust border security, including a border wall.
‘Struggling communities, especially immigrant communities,’ he will say, stand to benefit from a tighter job market as fewer illegal immigrants are included in employment markets.
Trump will claim his immigration policies ‘focus on the best interests of American workers and American families.’
The president also is expected to avoid any mention of the Russia ‘collusion’ investigation that has roiled the White House for most of the last year, one that he has publicly called a ‘witch hunt.’
Trump’s guests wait for the start of the State of the Union address in the chamber of the US House of Representatives
Members of Congress wear black clothing and Kente cloth in protest before the State of the Union address in the chamber of the US House of Representatives. This is the first State of the Union address given by Trump and his second joint-session address to Congress
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy talks with other members of Congress on the House floor
House Oversight Committee Rep Trey Gowdy (left) talks with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (right) ahead of the president’s State of the Union
Scalise acknowledges Trump’s introduction during the State of the Union address. Trump honored Scalise the address Tuesday night
Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill
Multiple congressional committees and a special counsel are probing accusations, so far unsubstantiated, that his campaign aides conspired with Russian agents to swing the 2016 election in his direction.
But he won’t use the speech as an opportunity to lobby Democrats on his solution to the DACA problem, the looming expiration of an Obama-era program that protects from deportation hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
Despite the president’s planned invitation for bipartisanship, Democrats resent the bargain he has offered them.
In addition to $25 billion to wall off Mexico from the U.S., he wants to end an international ‘diversity’ visa lottery and dramatically restrict extended-family chain migration policies – limiting green-card holders to sponsoring only immediate family members for their own legal status in the America.
Still, he will say that he is ‘extending an open hand to work with members of both parties, Democrats and Republicans, to protect our citizens, of every background, color, and creed.’
Trump will declare that he pursued his other successful policy pushes in order to ‘restore the bonds of trust between our citizens and their government.’
He will cite regulatory reform, renewed scrutiny of ‘unfair trade deals’ and ending ‘a war on American energy’ as ways his government has shown ‘love’ for taxpayers.
America’s first builder-president will also signal a request for funds – nearly $2 trillion according to some accounts – for infrastructure renewal.
US Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (center), Democrat of Florida, awaits the State of the Union address at the US Capitol in DC
Democratic female members of Congress, wearing black to support the #MeToo movement and buttons referring to 1944 rape victim Recy Taylor, arrive on the House floor to watch Trump deliver his State of the Union address
Minority Leader of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi attends the State of the Union address at the US Capitol
‘We built the Empire State Building in just one year,’ he will say. ‘Isn’t it a disgrace that it can now take ten years just to get a permit approved for a simple road?’
Trump’s infrastructure wish-list also includes upgrades to air and rail travel, along with new tunnels, bridges, and port construction.
The White House said Tuesday evening that the president would also take credit for largely defeating the ISIS terror army.
‘I’m proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria,’ he will say.
‘But there is much more work to be done. We will continue our fight until ISIS is defeated.’
Earlier in the day the president told news anchors during a White House luncheon that he aims to deliver a speech that will give both sides of the political aisle something to cheer.
‘I want to see our country united. I want to bring our country back from a tremendous divisiveness, which has taken – not just over one year, over many years – including the Bush years, not just Obama. You go back to the Bush years. You go back to the Clinton years,’ he said. ‘You take a look at that impeachment of Bill Clinton.’
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner hosted a family dinner at their DC home ahead of the State of the Union on Tuesday night
Ivanka and Eric posed together for a few snaps ahead of their father’s State of the Union address
While the president acknowledged ‘tremendous divisiveness’ in the United States, he said it stretched back ‘for many years.’
‘I would consider it a great achievement if we could make our country united. If I could unite the country. That’s not an easy thing to do because the views are so divergent,’ he said.
Democratic Rep. Joseph Kennedy of Massachusetts will deliver the opposition-party response after Trump leaves the podium in the House chamber.
Excerpts provided by his office suggest that he will call Trump a ‘bully.’
‘Bullies may land a punch. They might 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,’ he will say.
And Kennedy will have plenty to add about the political divisiveness that was the story of 2017.
‘It would be easy to dismiss the past year as chaos. Partisanship. Politics,’ he will say. ‘But it’s 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.’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic women decided to wear black to Trump’s first State of the Union in honor of the ‘Me Too’ movement
Democratic lawmakers, and some men too, show off their ensembles for tonight’s State of the Union speech as they show their support for the ‘Me Too’ movement. Trump was previously accused of sexual assault
Democratic lawmakers, dressed in all black to show support for the ‘Me Too’ and ‘Time’s Up’ movements throw up a fist bump during a photo-op Tuesday before Trump’s State of the Union address