President-elect Donald Trump waits to stop out onto the portico for his Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Update From the White House on Tonight’s Speech

PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS TO A JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS

The President is committed to keeping his promises to the American people.

  • He has already saved taxpayers millions of dollars by renegotiating promises, and will save billions more on contracts all across government.
  • We have undertaken a historic effort to roll back over-burdensome regulations.
  • The President has begun the process of draining the swamp of Washington corruption.
  • He has cleared the way for pipeline construction and withdrew the country from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Looking forward, the President will lay out an optimistic vision for the nation with a focus on the government putting the interests of the American people first.

  • There is a renewed spirit of optimism sweeping the country.
  • We are thinking like Americans again – dreaming big, building and undertaking monumental tasks and solving enormous problems.
  • But we must work together – across party lines – to do it.

We must restart the engine of America’s economy.

  • American businesses are being crushed under an avalanche of taxes and regulations.
  • We must make it easier for companies to do business in America.
  • We will deliver historic tax reform so that American businesses can compete and thrive.
  • The middle class must get tax relief.
  • We must have fair trade for our workers – foreign countries can no longer be allowed to tax our exports while shipping goods into our country for free.
  • We must protect our workers by enforcing our immigration laws, and it is time to implement a merit-based immigration system.
  • We will be guided by two core rules: Buy American, and Hire American.

Our people must have access to quality, affordable healthcare of their choosing.

  • Congress must repeal Obamacare and replace it with a system that expands choice, increases access and lowers costs.
  • Americans with pre-existing conditions must have coverage, and we must smooth the transition for Americans currently in the exchanges.
  • Our governors must have flexibility and resources they need to ensure no one slips through the cracks.
  • Americans must have the freedom to purchase health insurance in a national marketplace – it is time for competition that benefits consumers.
  • We must eliminate the burdensome approval process for life-saving drugs so that more lives can be saved.

Every parent deserves a choice, and every child deserves a chance.

  • Education is a civil rights issue – every child must have access to a quality education, no matter their zip code.
  • Our disadvantaged youth, including millions of African-American and Latino children, deserve access to good schools and great teachers.
  • We want to help our children break the cycle of poverty, and education is the key.

Every family deserves the opportunity to live in peace and safety in their homes and communities.

  • We must break the cycle of violence in our cities.
  • To accomplish this, we must support our men and women in law enforcement. They deserve our respect and appreciation.
  • For our people to be truly safe, our men and women of the military must have the tools they need to prevent – and, if they must, win – a war.
  • And when our veterans come home, they must be taken care of.

Looking abroad, an America First policy calls for robust engagement with the world in areas of mutual interest.

  • We support NATO, but our partners must meet their financial obligations.
  • Our strategic partners around the world must play meaningful roles in operations and help cover the costs.
  • We must learn from the mistakes of the past that have led to so much destruction around the world.
  • We are prepared to forge new partnerships where our interests align. We are looking for partners in peace.

OTHER NEWS OF THE DAY

Legislation and Executive Orders Signed Today

H.R. 321 – The INSPIRE Act

  • This bill, which was passed unanimously by Congress, encourages NASA to have women and girls participate in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and to pursue careers in aerospace, using existing programs and resources.
  • Specifically, the bill encourages the expansion of the missions of:
    • NASA Girls & NASA Boys
    • Aspire to Inspire
    • The Summer Institute in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Research.
  • Also requires NASA to produce a report in 90 days to detail how the agency can best support engagement for women and girls in aerospace and related fields.

H.R. 255 – The Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act

  • Similar to the INSPIRE Act, H.R. 255 encourages the National Science Foundation to use existing programs to recruit and support women in the sciences.
  • R. 255 was passed by unanimous consent in both the House and Senate and has no cost according to the Congressional Budget Office.
  • This bill is in part of the Innovation Initiative, launched jointly by Leader McCarthy and Representative McHenry

Executive Order on the Waters of the United States (WOTUS)

  • The Waters of the United States issue has had a long odyssey in the regulatory and legal world for the last 30 years, including 3 Supreme Court decisions and revised guidance from multiple administrations.
  • The last administration overturned previous guidance and instituted the Clean Water Rule, previously known as the Waters of the U.S. Rule, a massive power grab that vastly expands federal jurisdiction into state and local areas and decisions regarding their land use.
    • This rule is strongly opposed by farmers, ranchers, and agricultural workers all across our country because it prohibits them from doing their jobs as efficiently as possible and treats our small farmers as if they were major industrial polluters.
  • Past Supreme Court decisions have tried to make it clear that the jurisdiction of federal agencies who oversee this issue should be shrinking, not expanding.
  • This order directs the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA to review and reconsider the Obama administration’s rule and provides instruction to the Attorney General for proceeding with current legal action regarding the rule.
  • By eliminating this rule, we will unleash our farmers and ranchers to freely, yet still safely, expand their operations, and allow more Americans to make their living off our great land.

Executive Order on the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Initiative

  • President Trump is making HBCUs a priority again by repositioning the HBCU initiative in the White House.
  • This repositioning will strengthen the initiative by:
    • Allowing it to function across all executive departments and agencies and utilize the full resources of the federal government
    • Establishing HBCUs as a strategic partner in the President’s urban agenda of creating jobs, revitalizing communities, and making inner cities safe again
    • Increasing the private sector’s role in supporting HBCUs
    • Strengthening HBCUs participation in federal programs that partner with outside groups or private organizations
  • Each President since Jimmy Carter has issued an executive order on HBCUs. These previous initiatives lost track because they did not have the full force of the White House behind them. That stops with President Trump.

The President’s Budget

  • The President’s first budget will be submitted to Congress on March 16th.
  • The American people elected the President to prioritize their security, and that is exactly what he will do.
    • This budget provides for one of the largest increases in defense spending without increasing the debt.
    • There will be a $54 billion increase in defense spending in Fiscal Year 2018, in addition to $30 billion in supplemental spending for the current fiscal year.
      • This funding is vital. We must devote this money to protect the country.
    • We will also increase funding for our veterans, secure our border, and fund our other priorities.
  • We are a nation that soon will be $20 trillion in debt, so prioritizing financial security is as important as protecting our nation’s physical security.  
    • Families all across America have made tough choice in recent years over tradeoffs about what they can and cannot afford, but the federal government has continued to spend taxpayer dollars without pause.
    • The President has instructed his Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney, to write a budget that rebuilds our nation’s military, while also making tough choices for the American people.
    • This budget will insist on $54 billion in cuts to nondefense programs. The so-called “firewall” that protects lesser priorities from being used to pay for defense increases must go.
    • Foreign aid to other countries will be cut deeply. It is time to prioritize the security of this country and ask the rest of the world to step up and pay their fair share.
  • Many government agencies will also experience cuts.
    • These cuts will be sensible, they will be rational, but they will be tough.
  • That is what the moment calls for, and the President looks forward to engaging the Congress in passing his first security budget.

ObamaCare

  • ObamaCare has delivered Americans an unsustainable health care system with out of control premiums, rising deductibles and dwindling choices.
  • Nancy Pelosi cited three critical fronts on which ObamaCare’s success should be judged: lowering costs, expanding benefits, and increasing access. The law has completely failed all three.
    • Costs:
      • Under ObamaCare, the American people face rising premiums, unaffordable deductibles, fewer insurance choices, and higher taxes to pay for skyrocketing costs.
      • This year, the average premium for ObamaCare insurance plans in all four tiers (bronze, silver, gold, platinum) are facing a double-digit increase.
    • Expanding Benefits:
      • Obamacare’s mandates have led to mass cancellations of coverage, soaring out of pocket costs, and enrollment figures declining as millions choose to pay a tax over buying government mandated insurance.
    • Increased Access:
      • As insurers leave the marketplace, Americans are left with fewer insurance choices, with 17% having only one insurer option available in their exchange.
      • The ObamaCare Co-Op program has failed, with 16 of 23 co-ops having failed and gone out of business.
  • We are confident that once Americans see the choice between this failed system that has had two terms under the last president to deliver but has been unable to and another choice for a patient-centered plan that will return choice to the American consumer, both with insurers and doctors, and bring back down costs from where they have skyrocketed to, they will support our effort to repeal and responsibly replace ObamaCare. 

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Erick Erickson

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