Republicans clapped and rose to their feet in a standing ovation as they chanted “USA,” while Democrats sat quiet when President Donald Trump called the state of America “strong” during Tuesday’s State of the Union address.
“Tonight, I ask you to choose greatness,” the president said before listing the ways in which the administration “has moved with urgency and historic speed to confront problems neglected by leaders of both parties over many decades.”
After recounting a host of positive economic indicators for America, President Trump said, “Members of Congress: the State of our Union is strong. Our country is vibrant and our economy is thriving like never before.”
The statement prompted a standing ovation from Vice President Mike Pence and Republicans, who then began chanting “USA.” Many Democrats, however, could be seen sitting without even clapping.
The president cited a booming economy with 5.3 million new jobs, 600,000 of these being manufacturing jobs, and fast-rising wages including wages for blue-collar workers.
“Nearly five million Americans have been lifted off food stamps. The United States economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office, and we are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world,” said Trump.
“Unemployment has reached the lowest rate in half a century,” he said, specifically noting the historic lows in African-American, Hispanic, and Asian unemployment.
He pointed to the passage of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which doubled the child tax credit, “virtually ended the estate, or death tax on small businesses, ranches, and family farms,” and ended the Obamacare individual mandate penalty. Right to try was also passed for terminally ill individuals.
President Trump lauded his administration’s massive cut in the number of regulations. He added that the United States is now not only the “number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world,” but is a net energy exporter for the first time in 65 years.
“After 24 months of rapid progress, our economy is the envy of the world, our military is the most powerful on earth, and America is winning each and every day,” said the president.
He cited Friday jobs numbers that showed 304,000 new jobs added in January: “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.”
“If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way!” said Trump. “We must be united at home to defeat our adversaries abroad.”