WH Source: Trump SOTU to highlight opioid crisis, illegal immigration & economic growth

President Donald J. Trump addressing a joint session of Congress Feb. 28, 2017. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

A White House source familiar with President Donald J. Trump’s preparations for his first official State of the Union address Tuesday told Big League Politics the president will speak in a personal style from the heart about American values that unite us with patriotism and greater opportunities.

Trump is looking to be bipartisan redirect Congress towards the future with specific call outs for action in the next year, the source said.

Following the tradition started by President Ronald W. Reagan, Trump will introduce special guests sitting with First Lady Melania Trump. The president invited these guests in order to highlight his commitment to battle opioid addiction and the success of his tax legislation.

The speech is being prepared in five movements, Jobs and the economy, Infrastructure, Immigration, Trade and National Security.

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Deregulation of the economy and getting the government out of the way of business is slated as the cornerstone of the first movement. This is consistent with the meetings the president-elect held at Trump Tower with business leaders from all over the country and all over the economy.

President Donald J. Trump at the White House demonstrating how his administration cut regulations on government construction projects. (Official White House Photo by Stephanie Chasez)

Then, Trump was asking each industry and trade: How is the government stopping you from growing and hiring more people?

Now, Trump is looking to build on his just-signed tax reform bill, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and his opening salvos against the regulatory state.

The second movement is slated to be infrastructure. Trump is expected to ask Congress for $1 trillion to fund the rebuilding of the country’s roads. bridges and other public buildings and structures critical to transportation and travel.

In his 2009 economic stimulus program, American Recovery Act, President Barack Obama said he would focus on “shovel-ready” projects, but the program was focused on getting as much federal spending into the economy as possible in order to jump-start the economy.

Today, the American Recovery Act is seen as a failure because the additional spending was all new borrowed dollars, which spiked the annual deficit over $1 trillion for the first time,  and there was no unifying goal to what projects were approved, so there was no long-term benefit after the projects were completed and the building jobs went away.

In contrast to Obama’s American Recovery Act, Trump’s infrastructure proposal is being developed to be “fast and right”–with an emphasis on the value of the project, rather than the sugar-high of construction jobs and materials purchased.

Trump’s middle movement is immigration, which is being written to line up with the president’s Framework on Immigration Reform & Border Security released Thursday.

The third movement combines four phrases:

  • Enhanced border security financed by a $25 billion trust fund dedicated to a wall on the Mexican border and other infrastructure improvements;
  • Amnesty for young illegal aliens covered by Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program;
  • Rebalance immigration visas towards members of nuclear-family units and away from extended-family members;
  • End the visa lottery programs and then, redistribute those visa slots to reduce the backlog of nuclear-family visa applications.

The president’s penultimate movement is set right now to focus on trade and comes on the heels of his address Friday to the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland.

Speaking to a room full of billionaires, world leaders and media, Trump reasserted that his administration would put the interests of American business first.

Instead of “free trade,” Trump will repeat his call for “fair and reciprocal trade” like he did at Davos and in his Nov. 10 address to the Asian Pacific Economic Conference at Da Nang, Vietnam.

President Donald J. Trump addressing the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference in Da Nang, Vietnam Nov. 10, 2017. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

“The United States will no longer turn a blind eye to unfair economic practices including massive intellectual property theft, industrial subsidies, and pervasive state-led economic planning,” the president said to his Davos audience. “These and other predatory behaviors are distorting the global markets and harming businesses and workers not just in the U.S.”

Speaking at APEC, the president said: “We lowered or ended tariffs, reduced trade barriers, and allowed foreign goods to flow freely into our country, but while we lowered market barriers, other countries didn’t open their markets to us.”

Trump is expected to wrap up his second address to a joint session of Congress by putting forward his plan to improve America’s national security by rebuilding the military and returning to Reagan’s policy of peace through strength.

The president is also planning to speak specifically about the crisis on the Korean Peninsula and the battle against terrorists.

Republic of Korea (ROK) Tanks with 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, head off firing line in formation after Battel Sight Zeroing their Tanks during Korea Marine Exercise Program (KMEP) 17-6 at SuSong Ri Range, Pohang, Republic of Korea, on March 23, 2017. The purpose of KMEP 17-6 is to enhance and improve the interoperability of both U.S. Marine Corps and Republic of Korea Marines at the tactical level to build warfighting capabilities as partners. This includes ground combat element staff planning, mechanized maneuvers, mountain warfare training, bilateral tank operations and live fire ranges. (Marine Corps photo by MCIPAC Combat Camera Cpl. Anthony Morales)

An overriding theme in Trump’s national security movement is expected to be avoiding confusion and speaking with clarity to friends and foes alike.

The State of the Union address is scheduled to run from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D.-Mass.), son of the former congressman, grandson of Robert F. Kennedy and grandnephew of President John F. Kennedy, was selected to deliver the Democratic Party’s official response to Trump’s address.

Rep, Joseph P. Kennedy III (D.-Mass.) toured an Ohio Ford factory in October. He was chosed to deliver the Democratic response after President Donald J. Trump’s Jan. 30, 2018 State of the Union address. (Courtesy of Kennedy’s official Facebook page)

Kennedy is an interesting choice because he is generally known as one of the least politically strident House Democrats and like other members of the Massachusetts delegation, the congressman supported Ohio’s Rep. Timothy Ryan 2016 challenge to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.).

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Neil W. McCabe is a Washington-based political journalist and editor. Before joining Big League Politics, he was the Capitol Hill correspondent for Breitbart News, where he also led Breitbart's political polling operation and wrote up the Breitbart-Gravis polls. McCabe's other positions include the One America News DC Bureau Chief, a senior reporter at Human Events and a staff reporter at The Pilot, Boston's Catholic paper. McCabe also was the editor of The Somerville News, The (North Cambridge, Mass.) Alewife and served as an Army combat historian in Iraq. His 2013 e-book The Unfriendly Skies examined how the American airline industry went from deregulation in the late 1970s to come full circle to the highly-regulated, highly-taxed industry it is today.

 

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