Trump's Congress speech - security, infrastructure and tax breaks

US President Donald Trump's first address to Congress.

In his first address to Congress today, US President Donald Trump outlined a message of unity and co-operation for an agenda to lower taxes for the middle class and keep jobs and companies in the US.

Mr Trump says "all Americans deserve good jobs that allow them to prosper and dream" and "although we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a nation united on condemning evil in all of its ugly forms." Dropping the "job-killing TPP" stands as one of his proudest moments, he says.

"This will be a renewal of the American spirit. Our allies will find that once again America is ready to lead. But what will America look like as we reach our 250th year? What kind of country will we leave for our children?” he asks.

"We have begun to drain the swamp of government corruption by imposing a five-year ban on lobbying by executive branch officials and a lifetime ban on becoming lobbyists for a foreign government."

He expects "large reductions" in spending on foreign aid, directed at the US Agency for International Development and Agriculture and State departments.

Mr Trump also described how none of this prosperity can be achieved if the country exists in "an environment of lawless chaos" saying he hopes "to restore integrity and the rule of law to our borders."

“For that reason, we will soon begin the construction of a great, great wall along our southern border,” he says, noting that “bad ones” are being removed from the country as he speaks."To any in Congress who do not believe we should enforce our laws, I would ask you this question: what would you say to the American family that loses their jobs, their income?

"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."

Further to his security plans, he will work towards removing the Islamic State from Syria and Iraq and to "improve vetting procedures [for refugees], and we will shortly take new steps to keep our nation safe -- and to keep out those who would do us harm."

He also reaffirmed his desire to repeal and replace Obamacare. 

"On this and 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," he says.
 


Earlier
Before the address to Congress, Mr Trump outlined increased spending on infrastructure by "$US1 trillion, creating millions of new jobs." 

"And it's not like we have a choice. It's not like, 'Oh, gee, let's hold it off.’ Infrastructure investment also happens to mean jobs, which is a good thing," Mr Trump told governors at the White House this morning.

"Our highways, our bridges are unsafe. Our tunnels. I mean, we have tunnels in New York where the tiles are on the ceiling, and you see many tiles missing. Every time I drive through, I say, 'I wonder how many people are hurt or injured when they are driving at 40, 50 miles an hour through a tunnel, and a tile falls off.' And there are so many missing tiles and such loose concrete."

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, however, says the tiles "are being replaced by workers as part of an infrastructure project to repair the tunnel from Hurricane Sandy damage."

Mr Trump says a new investment in infrastructure is necessary and with the cost of the Iraq war, the US could have rebuilt its own infrastructure many times over.