tv Presidential Address to Congress MSNBC February 28, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
house briefings in washington. the white house, which they're doing, and the state department, which they're not. they've said they're going to restart them in march but that's a deafening silence in terms of america's role. >> yes, the u.n. has been more of a policy voice than rex tillerson. >> exactly. it will be interest, we've heard so much about the plan of the president that calls for eviscerating the state department and usaid and parts of our civilian force. it will be interesting to see whether he talks about that tonight, whether he tries to turn that into an applause line for republicans or avoids that subject. >> remarkable story according to news reports when the president announced we were no longer in favor of a two-state solution, the secretary of state rex tillerson was caught flat footed, had no idea and on background a white house aide said everybody knows middle east
peace is ju jared kushner's portfolio. no need to inform the secretary of state. the undersecretary positions need confirmation, none of them have been appointed. you don't have functioning cabinet agencies across the board. >> hard to overstate the importance of that. we had news that michelle flournoy, was asked by secretary mattis to come on as his deputy, she said no. we have news from cbs that todd ricketts, who was expected to be the deputy to wilbur ross at commerce may now withdraw his nomination. he may not be going through with that. we've got nobody who's operating as a deputy to secretary of state rex tillerson. he apparently wanted previous administration official elliott abrams to be his deputy. they went so far as to bringing him publicly to a meeting with the president who then rejected
him for being a never-trump guy. >> that was a good move. by the way, interesting that ms. there are no flournoy was going to be -- everybody thought hillary clinton's secretary of defense. i like the fact that nikki haley -- i don't know her well. i met her once but she did one iconic thing in her life, she pulled down that confederate flag. and because of that, she's ambassador to the u.n. and has this whole new wonderful new opportunity to deal with good public service. i think of that one iconic decision and she did it in a flash. >> and what she's done so far, she clarified that the united states does support a two-state solution. >> yes, thank god. >> in israel/palestine and i happen to know a few people at the u.s. mission to the united nations around she's actually impressed the career employees there in her first few weeks. >> these guys are so happy. he just slipped a life is saver into his mouth, the speaker of the house, he's drinking water.
>> they've known each other for a long time. this has been shall we say a rough and confusing couple of months for the house speaker paul ryan and as we look at the do door. those just joining us, we were told the president was going to exit after east coast time 9:01:30. here we are at 9:03. let's listen in.
>> thank you very much. mr. speaker, mr. vice president, members of congress, the first lady of the united states -- [ cheers and applause ] -- and citizens of america. tonight as we mark the conclusion of our celebration of black history month, we are reminded of our nation's path towards civil rights and the work that still remains to be done. [ applause ]
recent threats targeting jewish community centers and vandalism of jewish cemeteries as well as last week's shooting in kansas city remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms. [ cheers and applause ] each american generation passes
the torch of truth, liberty, and justice in an unbroken chain all the way down to the present. that torch is now in our hands and we will use it to light up the world. i'm here tonight to deliver a message of unity and strength and it is a message deeply delivered from my heart. [ applause ] a new chapter of american greatness is now beginning. a new national pride is sweeping across our nation. and a new surge of optimism is placing impossible dreams firmly within our grasp. what we are witnessing today is the renewal of the american spirit. our allies will find that america is once again ready to
lead. [ applause ] all the nations of the world, friend or foe, will find that america is strong, america is proud, and america is free. in nine years, the united states will celebrate the 250th anniversary of our founding. 250 years since the day we declared our independence. it will be one of the great milestones in the history of the world. but what will america look like as we reach our 250th year? what kind of country will we leave for our children? i will not allow the mistakes of recent decades past to define
the course of our future. for too long we've watched our middle-class shrink as we've exported our jobs and wealth to foreign countries. we financed and built one global project after another but ignored the fates of our children in the inner cities of chicago, baltimore, detroit and so many other places throughout our land. we've defended the borders of other nations while leaving our own borders wide open for anyone to cross and for drugs to pour in at a now unprecedented rate. and we've spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas while our infrastructure at home has so badly crumbled. then in 2016 the earth shifted beneath our feet. the rebellion started as a quiet
protest spoken by families of all colors and creeds, families who just wanted a fair shot for their children and a fair hearing for their concerns. but then the quiet voices became a loud chorus as thousands of citizens now spoke out tonight from cities small and large all across our country. finally the chorus became an earthquake and the people turned out by the tens of millions and they were all united by one very simple but crucial demand -- that america must put its own citizens first because only then can we truly make america great again. [ cheers and applause ]
dying industries will come roaring back to life, heroic veterans will get the care they so desperately need. our military will be given the resources its brave warriors so richly deserve. crumbling infrastructure will be replaced with new roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, and railways gleaming across a very, very beautiful land. our terrible drug epidemic will slow down and ultimately stop and our neglected inner cities will see a rebirth of hope, safety and opportunity. above all else, we will keep our promises to the american people. [ applause ]
thank you. it's been a little over a month since my inauguration and i want to take this moment to update the nation on the progress i've made in keeping those promises. since my election, ford, fiat chrysler, general motors, sprint, softbank, lockheed, intel, walmart and many others have announced that they will invest billions and billions of dollars in the united states and will create tens of thousands of new american jobs. [ applause ] the stock market has gained almost $3 trillion in value
since the election on november 8. a record. we've saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars by bringing down the price of fantastic -- and it is a fantastic -- new f-35 jet fighter and we'll be saving billions more on contracts all across our government. we have placed a hiring freeze on non-military and non-essential federal workers. we have begun to drain the swamp of government corruption by imposing a [ laughterlaug -- ban on lobbyi by executive officials and a lifetime ban -- [ applause ] thank you. and a lifetime ban on becoming
lobbyists for a foreign government. we have undertaken a historic effort to massively reduce job-crushing regulations creating a deregulation task force inside of every government agency. [ applause ] and we're imposing a new rule which mandates that for every one new regulation two old regulations must be eliminated. [ cheers and applause ] we're going to stop the regulations that threaten the future and looiflly hood of our gre great coal miners. [ applause ]
we have cleared the way for the construction of the keystone and dakota access pipelines. [ cheers and applause ] thereby creating tens of thousands of jobs. and i've issued a new directive that new american pipelines be made with american steel. [ cheers and applause ] we have withdrawn the united states from the job-killing transpacific partnership.
[ applause ] and with the help of prime minister justin trudeau we have formed a council with our neighbors in canada to help ensure that women entrepreneurs have access to the networks, markets, and capital they need to start a business and live out their financial dreams. [ applause ] to protect our citizens, i have directed the department of justice to form a task force on reducing violent crime. i have further ordered the departments of homeland security and justice along with the department of state and the director of national intelligence to coordinate an
aggressive strategy to dismantle the criminal cartels that have spread all across our nation. [ applause ] we will stop the drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth and we will expand treatment for those who have become so badly addicted. [ applause ] at the same time, my administration has answered the pleas of the american people for immigration enforcement and
border security. [ applause ] by finally enforcing our immigration laws, we will raise wages, help the unemployed, save billions and billions of dollars and make our communities safer for everyone. [ applause ] we want all americans to succeed, but that can't happen in an environment of lawless chaos. we must restore integrity and the rule of law at our borders. [ applause ] for that reason, we will soon begin the construction of a
great, great wall along our southern border. [ cheers and applause ] as we speak tonight we are removing gang members, drug dealers that threaten our communities and prey on our very innocent citizens. bad ones are going out as i speak and as i promised throughout the campaign, to any in congress who do not believe we should enforce our laws, i would ask you this one question -- what would you say to the american family that loses their jobs, their income, or their loved one because america refused to uphold its laws and defend its borders? [ applause ]
our obligation is to serve, protect, and defend the citizens of the united states we are also taking strong measures to protect our nation from radical islamic terrorism. [ cheers and applause ] according to data provided by the department of justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted of terrorism and terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country. we have seen the attacks at home from boston to san bernardino to the pentagon and, yes, even the world trade center. we have seen the attacks in
france, in belgium, in germany and all over the world. it is not compassion but reckless to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur. [ applause ] those given the high honor of admission to the united states should support this country and love its people and its values. we cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside america. we cannot allow our nation to become a sanctuary for extremists. [ applause ] that is why my administration has been working on improved vetting procedures and we will shortly take new steps to keep
our nation safe and to keep those out who will do us harm. [ applause ] as promised, i directed the department of defense to develop a plan to demolish and destroy isis, a network of lawless savage that have slaughtered muslims and christians and men and women and children of all faiths and all beliefs. we will work with our allies, including our friends and allies in the muslim world to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet. [ applause ] i have also imposed new
sanctions on entities and individuals who support iran's ballistic missile program and reaffirm our alliance with the state of israel. [ cheers and applause ] finally, i have kept my promise to appoint a justice to the united states supreme court from my list of 20 judges who will defend our constitution. [ cheers and applause ] i am grate ly pleased to have maureen scalia with us in the
gallery tonight. [ applause ] thank you, maureen. her late great husband antonin scalia will forever be a symbol of american justice. to fill his seat, we have chosen judge neil gorsuch, a man of incredible skill and deep devotion to the law. he was confirmed unanimously by the court of appeals and i am asking the senate to swiftly approve his nomination. [ cheers and applause ]
tonight as i outline the next steps we must take as a country, we must honestly acknowledge the circumstances we inherited. 94 million americans are out of the labor force. over 43 million people are now living in poverty. and over 43 million americans are on food stamps. more than one in five people in their prime working years are not working. we have the worst financial recovery in 65 years. in the last eight years, the past straight has put on new new debt than nearly all of the other presidents combined. we've lost more than one-fourth of our manufacturing jobs since nafta was approved and we've lost 60,000 factories since china joined the world trade organization in 2001. our trade deficit in goods with
the world last year was nearly $800 billion and overseas we have inherited a series of tragic foreign policy disasters. solving these and so many other pressing problems will require us to work past the differences of party. it will require us to tap into the american spirit that has overcome every challenge throughout our long and storied history. but to accomplish our goals at home and abroad we must restart the engine of the american economy, making it easier for companies to do business in the united states and much, much harder for companies to leave our country. [ applause ]
right now, american companies are taxed at one of the highest rates anywhere in the world. my economic team is developing historic tax reform that are reduce the tax rate on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone. [ applause ] it will be a big, big cut. at the same time, we will provide massive tax relief for the middle-class we must create a level playing field for american companies and our workers. have to do it. [ applause ] currently when we ship products out of america many other countries make us pay very high tariffs and taxes. but when foreign companies ship their products into america we
charge them nothing or almost nothing. i just met with officials and workers from a great american company, harley-davidson. in fact, they proudly displayed five of their magnificent motorcycles made in the usa on the front lawn of the white house. [ laughter ] [ applause ] and they wanted me to ride one and i said no thank you. [ laughter ] at our meeting i asked them how are you doing, how is business? they said that it's good. i asked them further how are you doing with other countries, mainly international sales? they told me without even complaining because they have been so mistreated for so long that they've become used to it. that it's very hard to do business with other countries because they tax our goosds at such a high rate they said that
in the case of another country they tax their motorcycles at 100%. they weren't even asking for a change, but i am. [ cheers and applause ] i believe strongly in free trade. but it also has to be fair trade. it's been a long time since we had fair trade. the first republican president, abraham lincoln, warned that the abandonment of the protective policy by the american government will produce wont and ruin among our people. lincoln was right and it's time we heeded his advice and his
words. [ applause ] i am not going to let america and its great companies and workers be taken advantage of us any longer. they have taken advantage of our country. no longer. [ applause ] i'm going to bring back millions of jobs, protecting our workers also means reforming our system of legal immigration. [ applause ] the current outdated system depresses wages for our poorest workers and puts great pressure on taxpayers. nations around the world like canada, australia, and many others have a merit-based immigration system.
[ applause ] it's a basic principle that those seeking to enter a country ought to be able to support themselvesable if themselves financially, yet in america we don't have this rule straining the resources our poorest citizens rely upon. according to the national academy of sciences our current system costs american taxpayers many billions of dollars a year. switching away from this current system of lower-skilled immigration and instead adopting a merit-based system, we will have so many more benefits. it will save countless dollars, raise workers' wages and help struggling families, including immigrant families enter the middle-class, and they will do it quickly and they will be very, very happy, indeed.
[ applause ] i believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible as long as we focus on the following goals -- to improve jobs and wages for americans. to strengthen our nation's security and to restore respect for our laws. if we are guided by the well-being of american citizens then i believe republicans and democrats can work together to achieve an outcome that has eluded our country for decades. [ applause ] another republican president, dwight d. eisenhower, initiated the last truly great national infrastructure program, the
building of the interstate highway system. the time has come for a new program of national rebuilding. [ applause ] [ cheers and applause ] america has spent approximately $6 trillion in the middle east, all the while our infrastructure at home is crumbling. with the $6 trillion we could have rebuilt our country twice and maybe even three times if we had people who had the ability to negotiate. [ applause ] to launch our national rebuilding, i will be asking congress to approve legislation that produces a $1 trillion
investment in infrastructure of the united states financed through both public and private capital creating millions of new jobs. [ applause ] this effort will be guided by two core principles -- buy american and hire american. [ applause ] tonight i am also calling on this congress to repeal and replace obamacare. [ cheers and applause ]
with reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower cost, and at the same time provide better health care. [ applause ] mandated every american to buy government-approved health insurance was never the right solution for our country. [ applause ] the way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance and that is what we are going to do. [ applause ]
obamacare premiums nationwide have increased by double and triple digits. as an example, arizona went up 116% last year alone. governor matt bevin of kentucky just said obamacare is failing in his state, the state of kentucky. and it's unsustainable and collapsing. one-third of the counties have only one insurer and they're losing them fast. they are losing them so fast. they are leaving and many americans have no choice at all. there's no choice left. remember when you were told that you could keep your doctor and keep your plan. we now know that all of those promises have been totally broken. obamacare is collapsing and we must act decisively to protect all americans.
[ applause ] action is not a choice, it is a necessity. so i am calling on all democrats and republicans in congress to work with us to save americans from this imploding obamacare disaster. [ applause ] here are the principles that should guide congress as we move to create a better health care system for all americans. first, we should ensure that americans with pre-existing conditions have access to coverage and that we have a stable transition for americans currently enrolled in the health care exchanges.
[ applause [ applause ] secondly, we should help americans purchase their own coverage through the use of tax credits and expanded health savings accounts, but it must be the plan they want not the plan forced on them by our government. [ applause ] thirdly, we should give our state governors the resources and flexibility they need with medicaid to make sure that no one is left out. [ applause
[ applause ] fourth, we should implement legal reforms that protect patients and doctors from unnecessary cost that drive up the price of insurance and work to bring down the artificially high price of drugs and bring them down immediately. [ applause ] and finally, the time has come to give americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across state lines. [ cheers and applause ] which will create a truly competitive national marketplace that will bring costs way down and provide far better care. so important.
everything that is broken in our country can be fixed. every problem a r can be solved and every hurting family can find healing and hope. our citizens deserve this and so much more, so why not join force s and finally get the job done and get it done right. [ applause ] on this and so many other things, democrats and republicans should get together and unite for the good of our country and for the good of the american people. [ applause ] my administration wants to work
with members of both parties to make child care accessible and affordable, to help ensure new parents that they have paid family leave. [ applause ] to invest in women's health and to promote clean air and clean water and to rebuild our military and our infrastructure. [ applause ] true love for our people requires us to find common ground to advance the common good and to cooperate on behalf of every american child who deserves a much brighter future.
an incredible young woman is with us this evening who should serve as an inspiration to us all. today is rare disease day and joining us in the gallery is a rare disease survivor, megan crowley. [ applause ] megan was diagnosed with pompe disease, a rare and serious illness, when she was 15 months old. she was not expected to live
past five. on receiving this news megan's dad john fought with everything he had to save the life of his precious child. he founded a company to look for a cure and helped develop the drug that saved megan's life. today she is 20 years old and a sophomore at notre dame. [ applause ] megan's story is about the unbounded power of a father's love for a daughter. but our slow and burdensome approval process at the food and drug administration keeps too many advances like the one that saved megan's life from reaching those in need. if we slash the restraints not
just at the fda but across our government then we will be blessed with far more miracles just like megan. [ applause ] in fact, our children will grow up in a nation of miracles. but to achieve this future, we must enrich the mind and the souls of every american child. education is the civil rights issue of our time. i am calling upon members of both parties to pass an education bill that funds school choice for disadvantage youth including millions of african-american and latino
children. [ applause ] these families should be free to choose the public, private, charter, magnet, religious, or home school that is right for them. [ applause ] joining us tonight in the gallery is a remarkable woman. deniesha meriwether. as a young girl, she struggled in school but failed third grade twice. then she was able to enroll in a private center for learning. a great learning center with the help of a tax credit and a scholarship program. today she is the first in her family to graduate not just from high school but from college. later this year she will get her
master's degree in social work. we want all children to be able to break the cycle of poverty just like deneisha. [ applause ] denetia. [ applause ] but to break the cycle of poverty, we must also break the cycle of violence. the murder rate in 2015 experienced its largest single-year increase in nearly half a century. in chicago more than 4,000 people were shot last year alone, and the murder rate so far this year has been even
higher. this is not acceptable in our society. [ applause ] every american child should be able to grow up in a safe community, to attend a great school and to have access to a high-paying job. [ applause ] but to create this future we must work with, not against, not against the men and women of law enforcement. [ applause ] we must build bridges of cooperation and trust, not drive the wedge of disunity and
brilliance, what it is, division, it is pure, unadulterated division. we have to unify. police and sheriffs are members of our community. they're friends and neighbors, they're mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, and they leave behind loved ones every day who worry about whether or not they'll come home safe and sound. we must support the incredible men and women of law enforcement. [ applause ] and we must support the victims of crime. i have ordered the department of homeland security to create an office to serve american victims. the office is called voice, victims of immigration crime
engagement. we are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media and silenced by special interests. joining us -- [ applause ] >> joining us in the audience tonight are four very brave americans whose government failed them. their names are jamiel shaw, susan oliver, jenna oliver and jessica davis. jamiel's 17-year-old son was viciously murdered by an illegal immigrant gang member who had just been released from prison. jamiel shaw jr. was an incredible young man with unlimited potential, who was getting ready to go to college where he would have excelled as a great college quarterback, but he never got the chance.
his father, who is in the audience tonight, has become a very good friend of mine. jamiel, thank you. [ applause ] >> also with us are susan oliver and jessica davis. their husbands, deputy sheriff danny oliver and detective michael davis, were slain in the line of duty in california. they were pillars of their community. these brave men were viciously gunned down by an illegal immigrant with a criminal record and two prior deportations. should have never been in our
country. sitting with susan is her daughter, jenna. jenna, i want you to know that your father was a hero and that tonight you have the love of an entire country supporting you and praying for you. [ applause ] to jamiel, jenna, susan and jessica, i want you to know that we will never stop fighting for justice. your loved ones will never, ever be forgotten. we will always honor their memory. [ applause ] finally, to keep america safe, we must provide the men and
women of the united states military with the tools they need to prevent war, if they must. they have to fight and they only have to win. [ applause ] i am sending congress a budget that rebuilds the military, eliminates the defense see -- seque sequestr -- [ applause ] and calls for one of the largest increases in national defense spending in american history. my budget will also increase
funding for our veterans. our veterans have delivered for this nation, and now we must deliver for them. [ cheering and applause ]. >> the challenges we face as a nation are great, but you our people are even greater. none are greater or braver than those who fight for america in uniform. [ applause ] we are blessed to be joined tonight by karen owens, the widow of senior chief william
ryan owens. ryan died as he lived, a warrior and a hero, battling against terrorism and securing our nation. [ applause ] i just spoke to our great general mattis just now, who reconfirmed that -- and i quote, ryan was a part of a highly-successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemy.