President Donald Trump Addresses A Joint Session Of Congress: “A New Chapter Of American Greatness Is Now Beginning”

President Donald Trump has addressed a joint session of the United States Congress, undertaking to deliver on his campaign promises. The soaring speech has been described by some commentators as marking the moment Trump assumed the mantle of the presidency.

Trump

Trump maintained his commitment to repealing the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – and reiterated many of his election campaign themes to “drain the swamp” in Washington DC.

Trump said “ninety-four million Americans are out of the labour force”. He outlined a one trillion dollar infrastructure program he will submit to Congress. He said: “I believe strongly in free trade but it also has to be FAIR TRADE.” He said his motto would be to “buy American and hire American”.

The president reiterated his commitment to building a “great wall” along the border with Mexico. He lauded the process of “extreme vetting” of immigrants.

Trump committed himself to America’s allies, “but our partners must meet their financial obligations”.

The speech offered no proposals on spending or taxation, or on deficit reduction. Trump said his economic team was working on “historic reform” to taxation and he pledged a big reduction in company tax.

Trump honoured the widow of a Navy Seal, William “Ryan” Owens, killed in a raid in Yemen. He said, “Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero –- battling against terrorism and securing our Nation.” The tribute led to an unprecedentedly lengthy standing ovation for Carryn Owens.

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Prepared text of President Donald Trump’s Address to a Joint Session of Congress.

TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and Citizens of America:

Tonight, as we mark the conclusion of our celebration of Black History Month, we are reminded of our Nation’s path toward civil rights and the work that still remains. Recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a Nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms. [Read more…]


Senate President’s Statement On Culleton Disqualification

The President of the Senate, Senator Stephen Parry, has made a statement about the disqualification of former Senator Rodney Culleton.

Parry outlined the process that resulted in Culleton’s disqualification as a result of bankruptcy proceedings that placed him in breach of Section 44 of the Constitution.

He also noted the decision of the High Court that Culleton had also not been eligible to nominate for election because of his breach of another part of Section 44.

A countback of votes will determine who replaces Culleton in the Senate.

Hansard transcript of statement by Senator Stephen Parry, President of the Senate.

The PRESIDENT (12:32): I wish to inform you that on the 7 November 2016 the Senate referred to the Court of Disputed Returns questions about the eligibility of Rodney Norman Culleton to sit as a senator. The court delivered its judgment in the matter on Friday, 3 February 2017. Today, I have tabled a copy of the order made by the Court and a copy of its reasons for judgment. To quote the judgment summary published by the Court: [Read more…]


Malcolm Turnbull: Address To The National Press Club

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has addressed the National Press Club in Canberra. Like yesterday’s appearance by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, the speech marked the official start of the 2017 political year.

Turnbull

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Official transcript of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s Address to the National Press Club.

Last week we celebrated Australia Day and around the country 16,000 people from 150 nations chose to become one of us.

Like us holders of the highest office in a democracy – citizen.

Partners in the most successful multicultural society in the world. A beacon of harmony in the midst of diversity, founded on a deep tradition of mutual respect in a world of rising intolerance.

Enterprising, optimistic and resilient. Compassionate and egalitarian. [Read more…]


Bill Shorten: National Press Club Address

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has addressed the National Press Club in Canberra, marking the start of the Australian political year.

Shorten

The Labor leader delivered a populist speech that drew heavily on current themes arising from the election of President Donald Trump. Shorten talked of the alienation of voters from the political class and promised to “put people first, politics last”.

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Official transcript of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s Address to the National Press Club.

I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, I pay my respects to elders past and present.

And a big welcome back everyone, hope you enjoyed the break.

This week marks the beginning of the political contest for 2017. [Read more…]


Berejiklian Announces Reshuffled NSW Ministry; Stokes To Education, Hazzard Into Health

Gladys Berejiklian has announced her reshuffled ministry, following her elevation to NSW Premier last week.

Berejiklian

Two senior ministers have been dumped from the new ministry. Brad Hazzard will replace Jillian Skinner as Health Minister. Skinner announced her retirement from parliament late last week. Rob Stokes becomes Education Minister, following the dumping of Adrian Piccoli.

Roads minister Duncan Gay has also been dumped. He will be replaced by Melinda Pavey, one of three new women in the ministry. The other new women are Sarah Mitchell and Tanya Davies. The Nationals minister Leslie Williams has lost her position.

Matt Kean joins the ministry in the Innovation and Better Regulation portfolio.

As expected, the new Treasurer will be Dominic Perrottet, the former Finance minister.

Mark Speakman becomes Attorney-General, swapping places with Gabrielle Upton, who takes Speakman’s old portfolio of Environment.

Don Harwin, the current President of the Legislative Council, will become the government leader in the Legislative Council. The new President will be John Akaka, who has been moved out of the ministry.

Berejiklian announced the ministry at a press conference in Queanbeyan with her National Party deputy John Barilaro. The outdoor appearance was punctuated by interjections from protesters objecting to local council amalgamations. [Read more…]


Gladys Berejiklian Becomes 45th Premier Of NSW

Gladys Berejiklian has been sworn in as the 45th Premier of New South Wales, following her unopposed election as leader of the Liberal Party.

Berejiklian

Berejiklian, 46, is the second female premier of NSW and the first female Liberal Party premier in any Australian state.

She was elected unopposed at a meeting of the Liberal party-room this morning. Her deputy is Dominic Perrottet, 33. Their unopposed election followed an agreement between the conservative and moderate wings of the NSW Liberals.

Berejiklian was elected to the Legislative Assembly as the member for Willoughby in 2003. She was Minister for Transport from 2011 until 2015. She became deputy leader of the party in 2014 when Mike Baird replaced Barry O’Farrell as leader. She has been Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations since 2015. [Read more…]


President Donald Trump’s Inaugural Address

Following his swearing-in as the 45th President at noon on January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump delivered his inaugural address.

The full text as prepared is shown below.

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Prepared text of President Donald Trump’s inaugural address.

Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans, and people of the world: Thank you.

We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and to restore its promise for all of our people.

Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for years to come.

We will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done.

Every four years, we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, and we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent. [Read more…]