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…]


Hockey Talks Of Economic Reform In Speech To London Institute

The Treasurer, Joe Hockey, has addressed the Institute of Economic Affairs in London on the future of the Australian economy.

HockeyIn his speech, Hockey discussed the importance of economic change. “Economies, and their enterprises, that are slow to adapt will be left behind,” he said.

Hockey compared Ford and Google: “The Ford Motor Company, which revolutionised manufacturing and the auto industry in the 20th century, currently has a market capitalisation of $53 billion after 110 years of operation. Google is more than 7 times larger in just 15 years.”

Structural reform will “lay the foundation for a more promising and secure future,” Hockey said. “Over the next decade, the traditional macroeconomic levers of monetary and fiscal policy will not deliver enduring growth… With fiscal policy constrained and monetary policy limited, the only alternative to facilitate growth is to undertake further structural reform in response to global change. Structural reform is indeed the key plank of Australia’s economic strategy under the Abbott Government.” [Read more…]


Infrastructure For The 21st Century: Warren Truss Addresses The National Press Club

The Deputy Prime Minister, Warren Truss, has addressed the National Press Club on infrastructure.

Truss

Truss, the leader of The Nationals, is also the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.

In his speech, Truss reiterated the government’s pre-Budget themes about an ageing population, the level of debt and the need to rein in spending. [Read more…]


Anthony Albanese: Driving Productivity Through Infrastructure

The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, has outlined the federal government’s approach to infrastructure and productivity in an address to The Sydney Institute.

Albanese [Read more…]


Gillard Offers Western Sydney Motorway Funding With Conditions

On the first full day of her week-long campaign in western Sydney, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has promised funding for the western Sydney motorway network, provided the state government comes up with an acceptable business plan.

Speaking beside a noisy motorway with Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese and Labor MPs from western Sydney, Gillard stipulated several conditions for her government’s support for WestConnex project. [Read more…]


Gillard Announces Levy To Pay For Flood Damage

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced that a one-off levy to pay for flood damage around Australia will be introduced from July 1.

The levy will only apply to individuals on incomes of more than $50,000. It will be levied at a rate of 0.5% on incomes from $50,001 to $100,000. The rate will be 1% on incomes from $100,001. People who have been affected by the floods will be exempt.

Gillard said the levy will apply only in the 2011-12 financial year and will raise $1.8 billion. [Read more…]


Details Of Rudd Government’s ‘Economic Security Strategy’

This is the text of a joint press release from the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and the Treasurer, Wayne Swan.

It details the government’s strategy for responding to the global financial crisis.

Economic Security Strategy

The Rudd Government today announced a $10.4 billion Economic Security Strategy to strengthen the Australian economy in the face of the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression.

This $10.4 billion strategy will strengthen the national economy and support Australian households, given the risk of a deep and prolonged global economic slowdown. [Read more…]