01 Mar 2017

Trump’s Congress Speech: The Show Has Just Begun

The most anticipated event yesterday was Donald Trump’s first speech to the Congress which will frame the new presidency’s future policies. Trump delivered a passionate, patriotic, full of promises and, according to some analysts, over ambitious speech which followed his pre-election motto: “Make America Great Again.”

The speech lasted nearly an hour and covered many topics in the president’s four-year agenda such as immigration, defense and security, creating new jobs, and reforming the health care system.

Here are some highlights of his plan:

Economy: The President pointed out that some of the major American companies like Walmart, General Motors, Fiat-Chrysler, Intel etc. have already promised to invest “billions and billions of dollars in the United States” and create “thousands and thousands of new American jobs”. Also, he mentioned his plan of implementing new regulations which will bring job growth.

In addition, he promised to rebuild the “crumbling infrastructure” of the country by passing legislation that will allow the investment of $1 trillion of public and private capital. And again, that reconstructing will be guided by two principles “Buy American – Hire American”.

To top up his aspiring agenda the President pointed that his economic team is preparing a “historic tax reform” that will simultaneously provide tax relief for the middle classes and will reduce taxes on corporations.

Security and defense: Just a day before his first Congress speech Mr Trump once again made the news by announcing his intention of increasing the US Army budget with a staggering $54 billion. Turning towards American politicians he confirmed once again that plan, adding that there will be more money for the veterans, concluding passionately: “Our veterans have delivered for this nation — and now we must deliver for them.”

At the beginning of his speech, he condemned the recent hate crimes that shook the country -the gun violence in Chicago, the shooting of two Indian men in Kansas and the vandalism at Jewish cemeteries. He used the examples to explain the reason for the launch of a reform in the Justice Department and the creation of Task Force on Reducing Violent Crime.

Using strong words like “radical Islamic terrorism” that needs to be rooted out, the American President indicated that his controversial order which restricted travel from seven Muslim-majority nations hasn’t changed. The emotional pivot of that part of Trump’s speech was a tribute to Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens who was killed in an anti-terrorist clash in Yemen a month ago. The soldier was credited for his sacrifice that saved the life of 7 other people and received standing ovation. The president commented: “Ryan is looking down right now — you know that — and I think he’s very happy, because I think he just broke a record”.

Immigration: One of the most awaited points of his second official speech was immigration. By using Canada and Australia as examples, Mr Trump pointed out that he will aim to build a “merit-based immigration system” that will only allow desirable and suitable immigrants in the country and will take a strict detain-and-deport approach towards undocumented immigrants who committed crimes. He also made clear he hasn’t given up on his Wall idea and insisted that the USA needs to build a “great wall along our southern border” to prevent the option of being “wide open for anyone to cross — and for drugs to pour in at a new unprecedented rate.”

Finishing his address Donald Trump emphasised that his role “is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America.”

The speech, which was shown live by major American networks, received 57% approval from the viewers, according to a poll done by CNN/ORC. Also 7 in every 10 viewers believe his outlined policies will move the country to the right direction. However, according to another analyst (RealClearPolitics) his current popularity is 44% – a historic low for a president who has been in office only a month since his inauguration.

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