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Highlights of the State of the Union Address

President Donald Trump gives his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington, Feb. 5, 2019.
President Donald Trump gives his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington, Feb. 5, 2019.

Here are six highlights of U.S. President Donald Trump’s second State of the Union message to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night:

  • President Trump offered a litany of his administration’s economic and regulatory successes, creating “the hottest economy anywhere in the world” and making the U.S. the number oil and natural gas producer, but cautioned that political fighting and congressional and federal investigation of his administration could shatter the momentum. “An economic miracle is taking place in the United States – and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations.” (9:25 pm)
  • The president argued once again that the latest wave of illegal immigrant crossings into this country has created a crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border, but he stopped short of declaring a national emergency to justify building his wall – as he has repeatedly threatened to do. Trump is pressing Congress to provide $5.7 billion to build more than 321 kilometers of new walls or barriers along the southwestern border, but House and Senate Democrats are opposed. The two sides have until Feb. 15 to resolve spending differences to avoid another partial government shutdown. “Now is the time for Congress to show the world that America is committed to ending illegal immigration and putting the ruthless coyotes, cartels, drug dealers and human traffickers out of business.” (9:34 pm) . . . Simply put, walls save lives. So let’s work together, compromise, and reach a deal that will truly make America safe.” (9:45 pm)
  • Trump renewed his call for $1.5 trillion of new spending on infrastructure in the coming decade to repair and replace the nation’s crumbling roads, bridges and grids. He was vague as to how the new projects would be funded. His previous proposals for new infrastructure went nowhere because they relied heavily on state and local governments and the private sector rather than the federal government. (9:54 pm)
  • Trump announce a national commitment to ending the transmission of the HIV virus by 2030 to combat the spreads of AIDS in areas with populations most susceptible to the potentially lethal disease. An estimated 1.1 million people had the typically sexually-transmitted virus in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some 38,739 people received an HIV diagnosis in the U.S. in 2017, according to the CDC. (9:56 pm)
  • Trump once again vowed to slash the cost of prescription drugs for many Americans. Last week, the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar issued a Medicare rule that would alter pricing structure to hold down drug costs and reduce out of pocket payments, by encouraging pharmaceutical companies to pass discounts directly to patients and bypassing middlemen. (9:55 pm)
  • Trump contended that if it hadn’t been for him, the U.S. would be at war with North Korea by now. Instead, he said, he would be meeting with Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, for a second meeting on to dismantle its nuclear weapons program in Vietnam, on Feb. 27 and 28. (10:05 pm)
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