Calling For 'Renewal of the American Spirit,' Trump Outlines Optimistic Vision
President Trump pushed the reset button after a rocky first month in office, delivering an on-message joint address to Congress that outlined an optimistic vision for America.
"I am here tonight to deliver a message of unity and strength, and it is a message deeply delivered from my heart," Trump said at the outset, declaring that "the torch of truth, liberty and justice...is now in our hands. And we will use it to light up the world."
It was a remarkably different tone than the president's usual speeches, including his inaugural address when he promised to stop "American carnage" and painted a gloomy view of the country. There were no campaign-like riffs, no boasting of his electoral victory, no bashing of the media or taunts or jeers at his opponents.
"The time for trivial fights is behind us," Trump declared at the end of his speech — a somewhat ironic statement given his proclivity to pick Twitter fights and zero in on petty things like disputes over the size of his inauguration crowd.
But throughout the more than hour-long address, Trump did just that as he called for America to "embrace this renewal of the American spirit."
"From now on, America will be empowered by our aspirations, not burdened by our fears –- inspired by the future, not bound by the failures of the past –- and guided by our vision, not blinded by our doubts," the president concluded.
The president touted accomplishments he's already checked off in office — including withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, ordering construction of the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines he argued would create jobs and nominating conservative Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
On national security, the president said he had directed the Pentagon to "develop a plan to demolish and destroy ISIS," while promising to "work with our allies, including our friends and allies in the Muslim world, to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet."
Trump redoubled on Republicans' longtime campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, even as the GOP has had difficulty coalescing around one replacement.
"Tonight, I am also calling on this Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time, provide better Healthcare," the president said.
Trump said he still wants to ensure that Americans with pre-existing coverage are covered and also said he supports letting people purchase plans "through the use of tax credits and expanded Health Savings Accounts" and "to give Americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across state lines."
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