Theodore's World

October 12, 2018

President Trump’s List: 289 accomplishments in just 20 months, ‘relentless’ promise-keeping

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Trump’s List: 289 accomplishments in just 20 months, ‘relentless’ promise-keeping

Washington Examiner

The Trump administration’s often overlooked list of achievements has surpassed those of former President Reagan at this time and more than doubled since the last tally of accomplishments after his first year in office, giving President Trump a solid platform to run for reelection on.

As Trump nears the two-year mark of his historic election and conducts political rallies around the country during which he talks up his wins in hopes it will energize Republican voters, the administration has counted up 289 accomplishments in 18 categories, capped by the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

They include 173 major wins like adding more than 4 million jobs and another 116 smaller victories, some with outsized importance such as the 83 percent one-year increase in arrests of MS-13 gang members.

“Trump’s successes in reducing the cost of taxes and regulations, rebuilding our military, avoiding wars of choice and changing the courts rival those of all previous Republican presidents,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

“Trump has an advantage over Ronald Reagan: he has a Reagan Republican House and Senate while Reagan had a [Democratic Speaker] Tip O’Neill House and a pre-Reagan Republican Senate. Reagan and [former GOP Speaker] Newt Gingrich were the ice breakers that allowed Trump’s victories to grow in number and significance,” he added.

Unlike the Year One list which included many proposals and orders still to be acted on, the new collection includes dozens of actions already in place, signed legislation and enforced executive orders.

For example, while the Year One list bragged about the administration’s efforts to rewrite the much-maligned NAFTA trade deal with Canada and Mexico, the Year Two list said, “Negotiated an historic U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement to replace NAFTA.”

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And shockingly the NAFTA achievement is presented as a sidebar to the larger achievement that reads, “President Trump is negotiating and renegotiating better trade deals, achieving free, fair, and reciprocal trade for the United States.” Under that umbrella are eight trade deals cut with Japan, South Korea, Europe and China.

“President Trump is a truly unique leader in American history. He’s a kid from Queens who became an international business leader and made billions by getting things when no one said he could,” said Trump’s 2016 campaign pollster John McLaughlin.

“They told him he couldn’t be president and beat the establishment and he did. For two years the establishment is telling him he can’t do things in Washington and he’s succeeding in spite of them. He never retreats. He doesn’t back up. He’s relentless. He just wins,” he added.

Comparing the two years shows that the latest has an expanded group of economic achievements while the pro-life category was folded into the health care section.

Along the way, there have been some disappointments such as failing to replace Obamacare, fund a big infrastructure plan and build the border wall.

But the White House believes that despite a lack of media coverage of his accomplishments, supporters know about them and will head to the voting polls to help the GOP maintain control of the House and keep the president on what CNN dubbed a “winning streak.”

In the Washington Post Friday, former Bush speechwriter and columnist Marc Thiessen agreed, and said that Trump has proven to be successful at keeping his campaign promises. He wrote, “The fact is, in his first two years, Trump has compiled a remarkable record of presidential promise-keeping.”


Economic Growth

4.2 percent growth in the second quarter of 2018.
For the first time in more than a decade, growth is projected to exceed 3 percent over the calendar year.


4 million new jobs have been created since the election, and more than 3.5 million since Trump took office.
More Americans are employed now than ever before in our history.
Jobless claims at lowest level in nearly five decades.
The economy has achieved the longest positive job-growth streak on record.
Job openings are at an all-time high and outnumber job seekers for the first time on record.
Unemployment claims at 50 year low
African-American, Hispanic, and Asian-American unemployment rates have all recently reached record lows.

--African-American unemployment hit a record low of 5.9 percent in May 2018. --Hispanic unemployment at 4.5 percent.
--Asian-American unemployment at record low of 2 percent.

Women’s unemployment recently at lowest rate in nearly 65 years.

--Female unemployment dropped to 3.6 percent in May 2018, the lowest since October 1953.

Youth unemployment recently reached its lowest level in more than 50 years.

--July 2018’s youth unemployment rate of 9.2 percent was the lowest since July 1966.

Veterans’ unemployment recently hit its lowest level in nearly two decades.

--July 2018’s veterans’ unemployment rate of 3.0 percent matched the lowest rate since May 2001.

Unemployment rate for Americans without a high school diploma recently reached a record low.
Rate for disabled Americans recently hit a record low.
Blue-collar jobs recently grew at the fastest rate in more than three decades.
Poll found that 85 percent of blue-collar workers believe their lives are headed “in the right direction.”

--68 percent reported receiving a pay increase in the past year.

Last year, job satisfaction among American workers hit its highest level since 2005.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans rate now as a good time to find a quality job.

--Optimism about the availability of good jobs has grown by 25 percent.

Added more than 400,000 manufacturing jobs since the election.

--Manufacturing employment is growing at its fastest pace in more than two decades.

100,000 new jobs supporting the production & transport of oil & natural gas.

American Income

Median household income rose to $61,372 in 2017, a post-recession high.
Wages up in August by their fastest rate since June 2009.
Paychecks rose by 3.3 percent between 2016 and 2017, the most in a decade.
Council of Economic Advisers found that real wage compensation has grown by 1.4 percent over the past year.
Some 3.9 million Americans off food stamps since the election.
Median income for Hispanic-Americans rose by 3.7 percent and surpassed $50,000 for the first time ever in history.

--Home-ownership among Hispanics is at the highest rate in nearly a decade.

Poverty rates for African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans have reached their lowest levels ever recorded.

American Optimism

Small business optimism has hit historic highs.

--NFIB’s small business optimism index broke a 35 year-old record in August. --SurveyMonkey/CNBC’s small business confidence survey for Q3 of 2018 matched its all-time high.

Manufacturers are more confident than ever.

--95 percent of U.S. manufacturers are optimistic about the future, the highest ever.

Consumer confidence is at an 18-year high.
12 percent of Americans rate the economy as the most significant problem facing our country, the lowest level on record.
Confidence in the economy is near a two-decade high, with 51 percent rating the economy as good or excellent.

American Business

Investment is flooding back into the United States due to the tax cuts.

--Over $450 billion dollars has already poured back into the U.S., including more than $300 billion in the first quarter of 2018.

Retail sales have surged. Commerce Department figures from August show that retail sales increased 0.5 percent in July 2018, an increase of 6.4 percent from July 2017.
ISM’s index of manufacturing scored its highest reading in 14 years.
Worker productivity is the highest it has been in more than three years.
Steel and aluminum producers are re-opening.
Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and NASDAQ have all notched record highs.

--Dow hit record highs 70 times in 2017 alone, the most ever recorded in one year.

Achieved massive deregulation at a rapid pace, completing 22 deregulatory actions to every one regulatory action during his first year in office.
Signed legislation to roll back costly and harmful provisions of Dodd-Frank, providing relief to credit unions, and community and regional banks.
Federal agencies achieved more than $8 billion in lifetime net regulatory cost savings.
Rolled back Obama’s burdensome Waters of the U.S. rule.
Used the Congressional Review Act to repeal regulations more times than in history.

Tax Cuts

Biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history by signing the Tax Cuts and Jobs act into law.

--Provided more than $5.5 trillion in gross tax cuts, nearly 60 percent of which will go to families. --Increased the exemption for the death tax to help save Family Farms & Small Business.
--Nearly doubled the standard deduction for individuals and families.
--Enabled vast majority of American families will be able to file their taxes on a single page by claiming the standard deduction.
--Doubled the child tax credit to help lessen the financial burden of raising a family.
--Lowered America’s corporate tax rate from the highest in the developed world to allow American businesses to compete and win.
--Small businesses can now deduct 20 percent of their business income.
--Cut dozens of special interest tax breaks and closed loopholes for the wealthy.

9 in 10 American workers are expected see an increase in their paychecks thanks to the tax cuts, according to the Treasury Department.
More than 6 million of American workers have received wage increases, bonuses, and increased benefits thanks to tax cuts.
Over 100 utility companies have lowered electric, gas, or water rates thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Ernst & Young found 89 percent of companies planned to increase worker compensation thanks to the Trump tax cuts.
Established opportunity zones to spur investment in left behind communities.

Worker Development

Established a National Council for the American Worker to develop a national strategy for training and retraining America’s workers for high-demand industries.
Employers have signed Trump’s “Pledge to America’s Workers,” committing to train or retrain more than 4.2 million workers and students.
Signed the first Perkins CTE reauthorization since 2006, authorizing more than $1 billion for states each year to fund vocational and career education programs.
Executive order expanding apprenticeship opportunities for students and workers.

Domestic Infrastructure

Proposed infrastructure plan would utilize $200 billion in Federal funds to spur at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investment across the country.
Executive order expediting environmental reviews and approvals for high priority infrastructure projects.
Federal agencies have signed the One Federal Decision Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) streamlining the federal permitting process for infrastructure projects.
Rural prosperity task force and signed an executive order to help expand broadband access in rural areas.

Health Care

Signed an executive order to help minimize the financial burden felt by American households Signed legislation to improve the National Suicide Hotline.
Signed the most comprehensive childhood cancer legislation ever into law, which will advance childhood cancer research and improve treatments.
Signed Right-to-Try legislation, expanding health care options for terminally ill patients.
Enacted changes to the Medicare 340B program, saving seniors an estimated $320 million on drugs in 2018 alone.
FDA set a new record for generic drug approvals in 2017, saving consumers nearly $9 billion.
Released a blueprint to drive down drug prices for American patients, leading multiple major drug companies to announce they will freeze or reverse price increases.
Expanded short-term, limited-duration health plans.
Let more employers to form Association Health Plans, enabling more small businesses to join together and affordably provide health insurance to their employees.
Cut Obamacare’s burdensome individual mandate penalty.
Signed legislation repealing Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, also known as the “death panels.”
USDA invested more than $1 billion in rural health care in 2017, improving access to health care for 2.5 million people in rural communities across 41 states
Proposed Title X rule to help ensure taxpayers do not fund the abortion industry in violation of the law.
Reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy to keep foreign aid from supporting the global abortion industry.
HHS formed a new division over protecting the rights of conscience and religious freedom.
Overturned Obama administration’s midnight regulation prohibiting states from defunding certain abortion facilities.
Signed executive order to help ensure that religious organizations are not forced to choose between violating their religious beliefs by complying with Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate or shutting their doors.

Combating Opioids

Chaired meeting the 73rd General Session of the United Nations discussing the worldwide drug problem with international leaders.
Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand, introducing new measures to keep dangerous drugs out of our communities.
$6 billion in new funding to fight the opioid epidemic.
DEA conducted a surge in April 2018 that arrested 28 medical professions and revoked 147 registrations for prescribing too many opioids.
Brought the “Prescribed to Death” memorial to President’s Park near the White House, helping raise awareness about the human toll of the opioid crisis.
Helped reduce high-dose opioid prescriptions by 16 percent in 2017.
Opioid Summit on the administration-wide efforts to combat the opioid crisis.
Launched a national public awareness campaign about the dangers of opioid addiction.
Created a Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis which recommended a number of pathways to tackle the opioid crisis.
Led two National Prescription Drug Take Back Days in 2017 and 2018, collecting a record number of expired and unneeded prescription drugs each time.
$485 million targeted grants in FY 2017 to help areas hit hardest by the opioid crisis.
Signed INTERDICT Act, strengthening efforts to detect and intercept synthetic opioids before they reach our communities.
DOJ secured its first-ever indictments against Chinese fentanyl manufacturers.
Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE) team, aimed at disrupting online illicit opioid sales.
Declared the opioid crisis a Nationwide Public Health Emergency in October 2017.

Law and order

More U.S. Circuit Court judges confirmed in the first year in office than ever.
Confirmed more than two dozen U. S. Circuit Court judges.
Followed through on the promise to nominate judges to the Supreme Court who will adhere to the Constitution.

--Nominated and confirmed Justice Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Signed an executive order directing the Attorney General to develop a strategy to more effectively prosecute people who commit crimes against law enforcement officers.
Launched an evaluation of grant programs to make sure they prioritize the protection and safety of law enforcement officers.
Established a task force to reduce crime and restore public safety in communities across Signed an executive order to focus more federal resources on dismantling transnational criminal organizations such as drug cartels.
Signed an executive order to focus more federal resources on dismantling transnational criminal organizations such as drug cartels.
Violent crime decreased in 2017 according to FBI statistics.
$137 million in grants through the COPS Hiring Program to preserve jobs, increase community policing capacities, and support crime prevention efforts.
Enhanced and updated the Project Safe Neighborhoods to help reduce violent crime.
Signed legislation making it easier to target websites that enable sex trafficking and strengthened penalties for people who promote or facilitate prostitution.
Created an interagency task force working around the clock to prosecute traffickers, protect victims, and prevent human trafficking.
Conducted Operation Cross Country XI to combat human trafficking, rescuing 84 children and arresting 120 human traffickers.
Encouraged federal prosecutors to use the death penalty when possible in the fight against the trafficking of deadly drugs.
New rule effectively banning bump stock sales in the United States.

Border Security and Immigration

Secured $1.6 billion for border wall construction in the March 2018 omnibus bill.
Construction of a 14-mile section of border wall began near San Diego.
Worked to protect American communities from the threat posed by the vile MS-13 gang.

--ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations division arrested 796 MS-13 members and associates in FY 2017, an 83 percent increase from the prior year. --Justice worked with partners in Central America to secure criminal charges against more than 4,000 MS-13 members.
--Border Patrol agents arrested 228 illegal aliens affiliated with MS-13 in FY 2017.

Fighting to stop the scourge of illegal drugs at our border.

--ICE HSI seized more than 980,000 pounds of narcotics in FY 2017, including 2,370 pounds of fentanyl and 6,967 pounds of heroin. --ICE HSI dedicated nearly 630,000 investigative hours towards halting the illegal import of fentanyl.
--ICE HSI made 11,691 narcotics-related arrests in FY 2017.
--Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand introduced new measures to keep dangerous drugs out the United States.
--Signed the INTERDICT Act into law, enhancing efforts to detect and intercept synthetic opioids.
--DOJ secured its first-ever indictments against Chinese fentanyl manufacturers.
--DOJ launched their Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE) team, aimed at disrupting online illicit opioid sales.

Released an immigration framework that includes the resources required to secure our borders and close legal loopholes, and repeatedly called on Congress to fix our broken immigration laws.
Authorized the deployment of the National Guard to help secure the border.
Enhanced vetting of individuals entering the U.S. from countries that don’t meet security standards, helping to ensure individuals who pose a threat to our country are identified before they enter.

--These procedures were upheld in a June 2018 Supreme Court hearing.

ICE removed over 226,000 illegal aliens from the United States in 2017.

--ICE rescued or identified over 500 human trafficking victims and over 900 child exploitation victims in 2017 alone.

In 2017, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested more than 127,000 aliens with criminal convictions or charges, responsible for:

--Over 76,000 with dangerous drug offenses. --More than 48,000 with assault offenses.
--More than 11,000 with weapons offenses.
--More than 5,000 with sexual assault offenses.
--More than 2,000 with kidnapping offenses.
--Over 1,800 with homicide offenses.

Created the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office in order to support the victims and families affected by illegal alien crime.
More than doubled the number of counties participating in the 287(g) program, which allows jails to detain criminal aliens until they are transferred to ICE custody.


Negotiating and renegotiating better trade deals, achieving free, fair, and reciprocal trade for the United States.

--Agreed to work with the European Union towards zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsides. --Deal with the European Union to increase U.S. energy exports to Europe.
--Litigated multiple WTO disputes targeting unfair trade practices and upholding our right to enact fair trade laws.
--Finalized a revised trade agreement with South Korea, which includes provisions to increase American automobile exports.
--Negotiated an historic U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement to replace NAFTA.
--Agreement to begin trade negotiations for a U.S.-Japan trade agreement.
--Secured $250 billion in new trade and investment deals in China and $12 billion in Vietnam.
--Established a Trade and Investment Working Group with the United Kingdom, laying the groundwork for post-Brexit trade.

Enacted steel and aluminum tariffs to protect our vital steel and aluminum producers and strengthen our national security.
Conducted 82 anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations in 2017 alone.
Confronting China’s unfair trade practices after years of Washington looking the other way.

--25 percent tariff on $50 billion of goods imported from China and later imposed an additional 10% tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods. --Conducted an investigation into Chinese forced technology transfers, unfair licensing practices, and intellectual property theft.
--Imposed safeguard tariffs to protect domestic washing machines and solar products manufacturers hurt by China’s trade policies.

Withdrew from the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Secured access to new markets for America’s farmers.

--Recent deal with Mexico included new improvements enabling food and agriculture to trade more fairly. --Recent agreement with the E.U. will reduce barriers and increase trade of American soybeans to Europe.
--Won a WTO dispute regarding Indonesia’s unfair restriction of U.S. agricultural exports.
--Defended American Tuna fisherman and packagers before the WTO
--Opened up Argentina to American pork experts for the first time in a quarter-century
--American beef exports have returned to china for the first time in more than a decade.

OK’d up to $12 billion in aid for farmers affected by unfair trade retaliation.


Presidential Memorandum to clear roadblocks to construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Presidential Memorandum declaring that the Dakota Access Pipeline serves the national interest and initiating the process to complete construction.
Opened up the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to energy exploration.
Coal exports up over 60 percent in 2017.
Rolled back the “stream protection rule” to prevent it from harming America’s coal industry.
Cancelled Obama’s anti-coal Clean Power Plan and proposed the Affordable Clean Energy Rule as a replacement.
Withdrew from the job-killing Paris climate agreement, which would have cost the U.S. nearly $3 trillion and led to 6.5 million fewer industrial sector jobs by 2040.
U.S. oil production has achieved its highest level in American history
United States is now the largest crude oil producer in the world.
U.S. has become a net natural gas exporter for the first time in six decades.
Action to expedite the identification and extraction of critical minerals that are vital to the nation’s security and economic prosperity.
Took action to reform National Ambient Air Quality Standards, benefitting American manufacturers.
Rescinded Obama’s hydraulic fracturing rule, which was expected to cost the industry $32 million per year.
Proposed an expansion of offshore drilling as part of an all-of-the above energy strategy.

--Held a lease sale for offshore oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico in August 2018.

Got EU to increase its imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States.
Issued permits for the New Burgos Pipeline that will cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Foreign Policy

Moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Withdrew from Iran deal and immediately began the process of re-imposing sanctions that had been lifted or waived.

--Treasury has issued sanctions targeting Iranian activities and entities, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force. --Since enacting sanctions, Iran’s crude exports have fallen off, the value of Iran’s currency has plummeted, and international companies have pulled out of the country.
--All nuclear-related sanctions will be back in full force by early November 2018.

Historic summit with North Korean President Kim Jong-Un, bringing beginnings of peace and denuclearization to the Korean Peninsula.

--The two leaders have exchanged letters and high-level officials from both sides have met resulting in tremendous progress. --North Korea has halted nuclear and missile tests.
--Negotiated the return of the remains of missing-in-action soldiers from the Korean War.

Imposed strong sanctions on Venezuelan dictator Nicholas Maduro and his inner circle.
Executive order preventing those in the U.S. from carrying out certain transactions with the Venezuelan regime, including prohibiting the purchase of the regime’s debt.
Responded to the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.

--Rolled out sanctions targeting individuals and entities tied to Syria’s chemical weapons program. --Directed strikes in April 2017 against a Syrian airfield used in a chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians.
--Joined allies in launching airstrikes in April 2018 against targets associated with Syria’s chemical weapons use.

New Cuba policy that enhanced compliance with U.S. law and held the Cuban regime accountable for political oppression and human rights abuses.

--Treasury and State are working to channel economic activity away from the Cuban regime, particularly the military.

Changed the rules of engagement, empowering commanders to take the fight to ISIS.

--ISIS has lost virtually all of its territory, more than half of which has been lost under Trump. --ISIS’ self-proclaimed capital city, Raqqah, was liberated in October 2017.
--All Iraqi territory had been liberated from ISIS.

More than a dozen American hostages have been freed from captivity all of the world.
Action to combat Russia’s malign activities, including their efforts to undermine the sanctity of United States elections.

--Expelled dozens of Russian intelligence officers from the United States and ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle, WA. --Banned the use of Kaspersky Labs software on government computers, due to the company’s ties to Russian intelligence.
--Imposed sanctions against five Russian entities and three individuals for enabling Russia’s military and intelligence units to increase Russia’s offensive cyber capabilities.
--Sanctions against seven Russian oligarchs, and 12 companies they own or control, who profit from Russia’s destabilizing activities.
--Sanctioned 100 targets in response to Russia’s occupation of Crimea and aggression in Eastern Ukraine.
--Enhanced support for Ukraine’s Armed Forces to help Ukraine better defend itself.

Helped win U.S. bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Helped win U.S.-Mexico-Canada’s united bid for 2026 World Cup.


Executive order keeping the detention facilities at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay open.
$700 billion in military funding for FY 2018 and $716 billion for FY 2019.
Largest military pay raise in nearly a decade.
Ordered a Nuclear Posture Review to ensure America’s nuclear forces are up to date and serve as a credible deterrent.
Released America’s first fully articulated cyber strategy in 15 years.
New strategy on national biodefense, which better prepares the nation to defend against biological threats.
Administration has announced that it will use whatever means necessary to protect American citizens and servicemen from unjust prosecution by the International Criminal Court.
Released an America first National Security Strategy.
Put in motion the launch of a Space Force as a new branch of the military and relaunched the National Space Council.
Encouraged North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies to increase defense spending to their agree-upon levels.

--In 2017 alone, there was an increase of more than 4.8 percent in defense spending amongst NATO allies. --Every member state has increased defense spending.
--Eight NATO allies will reach the 2 percent benchmark by the end of 2018 and 15 allies are on trade to do so by 2024.
--NATO allies spent over $42 billion dollars more on defense since 2016.

Executive order to help military spouses find employment as their families deploy domestically and abroad.

Veterans affairs

Signed the VA Accountability Act and expanded VA telehealth services, walk-in-clinics, and same-day urgent primary and mental health care.

--Delivered more appeals decisions – 81,000 – to veterans in a single year than ever before.

Strengthened protections for individuals who come forward and identify programs occurring within the VA.
Signed legislation that provided $86.5 billion in funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the largest dollar amount in history for the VA.
VA MISSION Act, enacting sweeping reform to the VA system that:

--Consolidated and strengthened VA community care programs. --Funding for the Veterans Choice program.
--Expanded eligibility for the Family Caregivers Program.
--Gave veterans more access to walk-in care.
--Strengthened the VA’s ability to recruit and retain quality healthcare professionals.
--Enabled the VA to modernize its assets and infrastructure.

Signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act in 2017, which authorized $2.1 billion in addition funds for the Veterans Choice Program.
Worked to shift veterans’ electronic medical records to the same system used by the Department of Defense, a decades old priority.
Issued an executive order requiring the Secretaries of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs to submit a joint plan to provide veterans access to access to mental health treatment as they transition to civilian life.
Increased transparency and accountability at the VA by launching an online “Access and Quality Tool,” providing veterans with access to wait time and quality of care data.
Signed legislation to modernize the claims and appeal process at the VA.
Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, providing enhanced educational benefits to veterans, service members, and their family members.

--Lifted a 15-year limit on veterans’ access to their educational benefits.

Created a White House VA Hotline to help veterans and principally staffed it with veterans and direct family members of veterans.
VA employees are being held accountable for poor performance, with more than 4,000 VA employees removed, demoted, and suspended so far.
Signed the Veterans Treatment Court Improvement Act, increasing the number of VA employees that can assist justice-involved veterans.

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October 11, 2018

Continued Photos of Kanye West Visit to See President Trump in Oval Office

Kanye gives President Trump, Ivanka, and Jared 'Make America Great', 'Make Earth Great Again', and 'Travel Space Again' Hats!

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Kanye with Pres. Sec. Sarah Sanders

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"They tried to scare me to not wear this hat, my own friends, but this hat it gives me, it gives me power,' Kanye West asserted. 'You know, my dad and my mom separated, so I didn't have a lot of male energy in my home. And also, I'm married to a family that, you know – not a lot of male energy going on. It's beautiful though,' he said, breaking into nervous laughter as he spoke about his wife Kim Kardashian West and her family.

The rapper said that he loves Hillary Clinton but the slogan 'I'm with her' didn't empower him to be the kind of man or father he felt his son deserved.

'I love Hillary. I love everyone, right? But the campaign "I'm with her" just didn't make me feel, as a guy that didn't get to see my dad all the time, like a guy that could play catch with his son,' he said. 'It was something about, when I put this hat on, it made me feel like Superman. That's my favorite super hero. He said the hat is like a Superman cape and said that Trump made him a billionaire.

West told Trump, 'I love you,' as he came around to give him a hug. The president informed him that the didn't want to put him in a bad spot. West said, 'I'm standing in this spot and I love this guy right here."

Kanye, Jim Brown and President Trump

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President Trump, Kanye West, Jim Brown and Kid Rock spoke to reporters in the Oval Office Followwd by Lunch Together

President Donald Trump and rapper Kanye West spoke to reporters in the Oval Office Thursday afternoon before their lunch meeting.

“Trump is on his hero’s journey right now,” West said. “He might not have thought he’d have a crazy mother-fucker like Kanye West run up and support, but best believe — we are going to make America great.”

West wore Trump’s campaign MAGA hat, urging Americans to rally around the president. He said that the hat was his “superman cape” allowing him to do whatever he wanted.

“We have to release the love throughout the entire country and give opportunities,” he said.

Kanye West spoke for about 20 minutes speaking his support for Trump and took questions from reporters.

“I don’t answer questions that are simple soundbites. You are tasting a fine wine, it has multiple notes to it,” he said. “You better play 4D chess with me like Minority Report.”

Trump praised Kanye’s remarks, which had to be edited by TV censors before it was aired on cable news.

“He can speak for me any time he wants. He’s a smart cookie,” he said. “He gets it.”

“It was from the soul,” West replied, “I just channeled it.”

Comments by Chrissie.........

Jim Brown is revered by older blacks and Kanye has a huge following with young blacks.

I like this........."Kanye says when he puts on his MAGA hat he feels Luke Superman!"

I really admire the courage he has shown while being subjected to withering criticism and insults from the "tolerant" left. He’ll be subjected to even worse after this meeting.

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President Trump Participates in a Signing Ceremony for H.R. 1551, the “Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act”

President Trump Participates in a Signing Ceremony for H.R. 1551, the “Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act”

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October 09, 2018

President Trump, Kushner to meet with Kanye West at White House

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Trump, Kushner to meet with Kanye West at White House

The Hill

Rapper Kanye West will meet with President Trump and senior adviser Jared Kushner on Thursday, the White House confirmed early Tuesday.

“Kanye West is coming to the White House to have lunch with President Trump and he will also meet with Jared Kushner. Topics of discussions will include manufacturing resurgence in America, prison reform, how to prevent gang violence, and what can be done to reduce violence in Chicago,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, according to a pool report.

West, who has become one of Trump’s most vocal celebrity supporters, will meet Kushner before having lunch with Trump at the White House, two people familiar with the plans told The New York Times on Monday.

The musician reportedly wants to discuss furthering job opportunities for former convicts with the administration officials.

West also hopes to discuss with Trump how to increase the number of manufacturing jobs near Chicago, where he grew up, the Times reported.

Kushner, who is also Trump's son-in-law, has met with West’s wife, reality star Kim Kardashian West, to discuss his focus on overhauling the criminal justice system.

Kardashian West met with Trump in the Oval Office in May to urge him to pardon Alice Marie Johnson, a grandmother serving a life sentence in prison for a nonviolent drug offense.

Trump and West also met following the 2016 presidential election.

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West in April called Trump his "brother" and said they are both “dragon energy.”

The rapper left social media again on Sunday after he was criticized for delivering a pro-Trump speech following his performance a week earlier on “Saturday Night Live.”

West during his speech claimed "SNL" cast members had "bullied" him and urged him not to wear a "Make America Great Again" hat onstage.

"SNL" cast member Pete Davidson mocked his speech on the latest episode of "SNL," calling it “one of the worst, most awkward things I’ve ever seen here.”

"He wore it all week, like, nobody told him not to wear it," Davidson said. "Like, I wish I bullied you. I wish I would've suggested that it might upset some people, like your wife, or every black person ever."

Jordan Fabian contributed to this report, which was updated on Oct. 9 at 8:17 a.m.

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October 08, 2018

USArmy Ten Miler were joined by supporters Ivanka (Trump) and husband Jared

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#ArmyTenMiler group photo with @ArmyChiefStaff, Hollyanne Milley, @SecArmy, @IvankaTrump, Col. Gadson and Jared!!

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Ivanka Trump
‏ @IvankaTrump
Oct 7

Just finished the #Army10miler! Army Strong! Hooah! (We spent much of the race behind a guy wearing a shirt that said “if you can read this, I’m not last."

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President Trump is donating his Q2 salary to help Veterans Start A Business

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Today, Press Sec.Sarah Sanders announced that President Trump is donating his Q2 salary to @SBAgov, (America's small businesses and entrepreneurs) and @SBALinda Sec of SBA Linda McMahon was on hand to accept the check!

The money will be used to help Veterans transition from military life to the private sector as entrepreneurs.

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Gorgeous First Lady Melania visiting Ghana, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt

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While visiting Ghana, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt, Mrs. Trump wove in her child-focused “Be Best” campaign.

Mrs. Trump met with Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the Egyptian president, and Entissar Mohameed Amer, the Egyptian first lady at the presidential palace in Cairo. The two first ladies, along with Mr. Sisi, met for about an hour in the ornate palace with tight security.

Mrs. Trump visited Nairobi National Park, home to black rhinos, lions, leopards, cheetahs, buffaloes, giraffes and zebras, among other animals. Flanked by Secret Service agents, the first lady watched zebras graze, with the skyline of Kenya’s capital on the horizon. Despite the leisurely safari, Mrs. Trump drew criticism from the LEFT AND THE LEFT MEDIA ASSHOLES....... for wearing a white pith helmet, which is closely associated with colonialism in Africa.

Workers at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi spend years bonding with orphaned elephants. Mrs. Trump helped feed the young elephants milk from giant bottles.

Cheerful children greeted Mrs. Trump at an orphanage in Nairobi that cares for 130 children and promotes women and children’s health. The first lady handed out “Be Best” blankets and teddy bears, and read stories to children.

After arriving in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, to much fanfare, Mrs. Trump visited the Chipala Primary School. Roughly 8,000 students attend the school, which employs just 75 teachers, according to the White House.

Mrs. Trump landed at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana, on Tuesday morning, greeted by a troop of cultural dancers, children waving American and Ghanaian flags, and Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the first lady of Ghana. Lillian Naa Adai Sai, 8, presented Mrs. Trump with a bouquet of flowers.

Mrs. Trump’s motorcade drew onlookers from the busy streets of Accra as it made its way to Greater Accra Regional Hospital. The first lady handed out teddy bears to children and visited the maternity ward, accompanied by Ms. Akufo-Addo.

Two hours before Mrs. Trump arrived at the Emintsimadze Palace in Cape Coast on Wednesday, several of her aides delivered traditional libations, meant to help the chiefs of the Fante people, who primarily live in Ghana, communicate with their ancestors.

Alongside crashing waves, Mrs. Trump toured Cape Coast Castle, a somber memorial site that formerly housed Ghanaian slaves before they were transported to the Americas by the British.

“This is a very special place,” Mrs. Trump said when asked about her visit. “I will never forget the incredible experience and the stories that I heard from the gentleman.”

“What happened so many years ago, it’s really a tragedy,” she added.

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Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle in Montana..Keep Montana RED!

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Donald Trump Jr: Kimberly Guilfoyle and I had a great time with Greg Gianforte and Matt for Montana yesterday in Hamilton, Montana at the Ravalli County Republican committee meeting. Had an amazing time speaking to some great people. Keep Montana Red!

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October 07, 2018

Congratulations to Justice Kavanaugh!

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Congratulations to Justice Kavanaugh for his perseverance, and resolve under fire.

Congratulations on your confirmation to the United States Supreme Court, Justice Brett Kavanaugh!

What an incredible moment in history today! So grateful that prayers were answered & Senate confirmed Judge Kavanaugh to serve as Justice on the Supreme Court. After 3 intense months, the fight is over..

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October 06, 2018

First Lady Melania in Egypt

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@FLOTUS⁩ tells reporters in Egypt she wishes people would focus on what she does, not what she wears. Press asked her about Judge recently confirmed and Melania praised Kavanaugh, was happy he is confirmed

From the AP reporter flying with staff on plane with First Lady Melania. .....

"flew 14,680 nautical miles on this trip, per advance staff on the plane. Melania Trump had never been to Africa and the visit marked her first major solo international tour."

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First Lady Melania Trump’s heartfelt visit to Africa

First Lady Melania Trump’s heartfelt visit to Africa

This week, First Lady Melania Trump is on her first solo international trip, visiting the African nations of Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, and Egypt. Wrapping up her first stops in Accra and Cape Coast, Ghana, the First Lady took her “Be Best” message to the children of Malawi today.

Lilongwe, Malawi, is known as the “warm heart of Africa.” This afternoon, Mrs. Trump was greeted at the airport by the First Lady of Malawi, Gertrude Mutharika—and her granddaughter, who handed Mrs. Trump a beautiful arrangement of flowers.

During a ceremony at the Chipala Primary School in Lilongwe today, Mrs. Trump spoke on the importance of educating and empowering youth. The children’s willingness to learn was moving: More than 8,000 students attend Chipala Primary School. The facility has 22 classrooms, with an average class size of about 106 students per class.

“The growth and success of a country starts with educating our children,” the First Lady said. “The positivity and passion to learn was so evident in each classroom, and I appreciate the time everyone took to show me around the school.”

The First Lady continued her journey this evening, arriving in Kenya for a two-day visit.

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October 05, 2018

Guitar Duo playing the 'Cavatina' by S. Myers from the Movie "The Deer Hunter"

Guitar Duo playing the 'Cavatina' by S. Myers from the Movie "The Deer Hunter" with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra

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Great job Capital police! 302 protesters have been arrested for unlawfully demonstrating inside Senate Office Buildings

Washington DC. FOX NEWS

Great job Capital police! 302 protesters have been arrested for unlawfully demonstrating inside Senate Office Buildings

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SCOTUS Nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh Quote

“I am an optimist … I see the day that is coming. Not the day that has gone. I am optimistic about the future of America. I am optimistic about the future of our independent judiciary.”

– SCOTUS nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh #ConfirmKavanaugh

2:30 PM - Oct 5, 2018

From the Senate Cloakroom

loture on the Kavanaugh nomination has been invoked. Under the provisions of Rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, now begins up to 30 hours of debate on the nomination followed by a vote on confirmation.

Agreed to, 51-49: Motion to invoke cloture on Executive Calendar #1127, Brett M. Kavanaugh, of Maryland, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

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October 04, 2018

"We Honor Work" - President Trump Speaks to the National Electrical Contractors Association

"We Honor Work" - President Trump Speaks to the National Electrical Contractors Association

Remarks by President Trump at National Electrical Contractors Association Convention

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, folks. (Applause.) I’ve paid you so much money over the years. David, I’ve given them so much money. That’s all right. And you did a good job. Please.

MR. LONG: As a memento for us of him being here, we have created him a hardhat with the Presidential Seal, the American flag, NECA, and our convention logo. You could use this in Washington from time to time. (Laughter and applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: I will use it. I will. That’s beautiful. Thank you, man. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you. I don’t want to put it on because I’m afraid that I’ll mess up my hair. That would be terrible. (Laughter.) Did I have a good hair day? Or — I don’t know. Yes? Come on. (Laughter.) Got to do it. (Applause.) Thank you, man. Is it still okay? I think so.

Thank you, everybody. Please sit down. And it is true — I told David, “David, I paid these guys so much money over the years, built so many beautiful buildings.” And you know what? The job you do is incredible.

I’d go to some of those switchboards and I’d go to some of those connectors, and I said, “These are smart people. Putting that together, these are smart…” — and you are, you’re smart people and you’re talented people. Few people could do what you do, that I can tell you. So, thank you. (Applause.) Thank you. That’s true.

And thank you, David. I’m thrilled to be in the great city of Philadelphia. I went to college here at the Wharton School of Finance — U of Penn — with thousands of our nation’s most skilled and talented workers — the electrical contractors who make our country run. So true.

I also know from firsthand experience, America’s electrical contractors are the best in the world. Nobody even close. And now — (applause) — that’s true. Nobody close. And now, you have a friend and an ally in the White House. And you do. You have a friend. (Applause.)

I want to thank John Grau, Dan Walter, Mark Mazur — well, that’s a very interesting name, Greg Rick. Where — who’s Greg Rick? Where’s Greg? (Laughter.) Stand up. I love that name. “Greg Rick.” They have a lot of problem back-and-forth, I’ll bet, huh? Over your life, huh? (Laughter.) They call you “Rick”; they call you “Greg.” (Laughter.) And he’s a good man. And the incredible leadership team at the National Electrical Contractors Association. You have great leadership.

With your help, we will protect this noble trade for many generations to come. And you’re protecting it yourself with your talent.

I also want to thank a very special group of people who always get the job done and get it done right — the proud members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you.

And speaking of energy, we are honored to be joined by Energy Secretary Rick Perry — where’s Rick? He’s around here. (Applause.) Stand up, Rick. Great job he’s doing. Doing a great job.

And Alex Acosta, as you know, Secretary of Labor. Alex. (Applause.) Thank you, Alex. He just developed two incredible healthcare plans that really work and they’re really popular. Thank you very much, Alex.

As well as two tremendous leaders from Pennsylvania, Congressmen G.T. Thompson and the great Lou Barletta — going to be your next senator I hope. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you, G.T. Thank you, G.T. And thank you, Lou. What a job you’re doing.

I’ll tell you what, if he’s your next senator, you’re going to have no more problems. He is a doer. So, I’m very proud of you, man. Great job. And I hear you’re doing well, and I’m proud.

Also here with us are members of the Mississippi congressional delegation. In fact, I’m going there with the delegation. I’ll be there tonight.

People say, “Where do you get this energy?” You know where I get it? I love doing it, actually. If you love doing it, it’s easy. Right, David? (Applause.) If you don’t like doing it, not so good.

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith — where’s Cindy? Cindy. (Applause.) Thank you, Cindy. I hear you’re doing really well. A man who always does well, Senator Roger Wicker. (Applause.) Roger. Been a great friend of mine from the beginning. Thank you, Roger. And Representative Gregg Harper. (Applause.) Thanks, Gregg. Thank you, Gregg.

This is really an incredible time for our nation. We are respected again. We are respected again, like we haven’t been respected in many, many decades. (Applause.)

We have the best economy in our history. Stock market today just hit another record high. That’s the hundred — I think its 103 times since I’m President that we’ve hit a new high. And hopefully, next year at this time we’ll hit many more. (Applause.) But that’s not a bad number, right? I think we’re up to 103. And if I’m off just by a little bit -– like if it’s 102 — it’ll be headlines. “Trump exaggerated.” (Laughter.) That’s why I always say “I think it’s around…”

With a Republican Congress, we’ve added more than 4 million new jobs since Election Day, and lifted 4 million Americans off of food stamps. Those are tremendous numbers. (Applause.)

Jobless claims are at a 50-year low. And the stock market, as I just said, is at an all-time high today. African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American unemployment rates have all recently achieved their lowest levels ever recorded. (Applause.) That’s pretty good.

That’s a very hard soundbite to beat, right, if you’re the opponent of Trump? When you say “highest and best numbers we’ve ever had.” And we have created over 50,000 new jobs in electrical contracting. That’s pretty good. That’s pretty good. Nobody thought that was going to be happening. (Applause.) And it’s going way up. It’s going up very fast.

America’s –- and just remember this –- America’s economic revival would not be possible without the men and women in this room. Would not be possible. I’ve built so much. I’ve done so much business with you. I’ve watched the things you’ve done and it’s incredible.

We are truly grateful to our electricians, our wiremen, linemen, engineers, technicians, journeymen, contractors, and apprentices –- oh, I love that word. That was a great — I love the word “apprentice.” (Applause.) I love that word.

You know, I did that show 14 seasons, and then I left. They wanted to sign me for three more seasons. I said, “No, I’m going to run for President.” (Laughter.) It’s true.

So they replaced me with a big, big movie star. And it didn’t last too well. It was gone like –- quickly. But I love that name. “The Apprentice.”

Who keep the engine of American prosperity running full speed ahead. We’re also fixing decades of disastrous trade deals that have plundered our factories and stolen our wealth and our jobs. What’s happened here over the last 20, 25 years, and more is horrible.

But we’re changing it all. We’ve added 400,000 new manufacturing jobs since the election. And that number, very shortly, will be up, David, to 640,000. Big things are happening currently. (Applause.)

And if you remember, the past administration said those are jobs that you’re not going to be adding. “You’re going to need a magic wand.” Do you remember that? Magic wand. There was no magic wand; it’s good policy and other things.

We are in the midst of a manufacturing renaissance –- something which nobody thought you’d hear –- which means more jobs for our great electrical contractors.

Yesterday, we made history by announcing an incredible, brand new trade deal to replace the horrible NAFTA deal that drained our country of jobs and companies. As I have said many times — (applause) — NAFTA was one of the worst trade deals ever made in any country at any time.

And now we have a great trade deal. And we have deal that is also good for Mexico and good for Canada. And we have a good partnership with the three. And it worked out. It all worked out. (Applause.)

As you probably noticed, and read, and saw, there were a little tough negotiations. But you know what? It all worked out. And we’re now on the right track. And we did a great deal with South Korea. It’s all working out.

Now, as you probably have heard, we’re looking at China and other countries, and we’re straightening out some of these horrible deals that stole our wealth, stole our jobs, stole so much from us. Actually, in many ways, stole our dignity as a country. (Applause.)

Our landmark new trade agreement is called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. Like YMCA; or United States Marine Corps, with an “A” at the end. (Laughter.) I liked the way it sounded. I didn’t want to use the name “NAFTA,” because NAFTA has been so bad for us. I would watch 20 years ago, 10 years ago, 15 years ago — you look at New England where the factories were devastated. People forget. People forget. You still have empty buildings all over the country from NAFTA, so I didn’t want to use the name “NAFTA.”

USMCA is the most advanced, modern, and balanced trade agreement ever negotiated. It is also the largest trade deal the United States has ever made. And we think it’s the largest trade deal ever made in the world — $1.2 trillion in commerce a year.

The USMCA will protect American workers, substantially increase exports of American agriculture. Our farmers are so happy. I spoke with Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa this morning. She was so happy. And the farmers and agricultural people are thrilled. They didn’t know if we’d ever be able to make a deal or certainly a fair deal for them. They’re thrilled. And this deal will revitalize, also, the American auto industry.

One thing I wanted was, I don’t want any incentives to get companies to leave our country; fire everybody; move to Mexico, or Canada, or someplace, and build cars and send them in — no tax, no nothing; and, in the meantime, we end up with nothing except unemployed people. Not going to happen anymore. That’s what I wanted in this deal. It was so important. (Applause.) It was so important.

Do you remember those days? You all remember those days? When everybody was leaving the country? Going to make a product, send it in, and we end up with unemployed. That’s about all we got out of it — no nothing. So those days are over, folks.

Last week, I also stood beside President Moon and announced a new trade deal with South Korea that will increase exports of American-made cars very, very substantially; increase exports of agriculture; and also medicine, which is very big and very important business.

We’re preparing to start negotiations, right now, with Japan. And we have taken the toughest-ever actions in our history against China’s very abusive trading policies and trade practices.

China has been taking out of our country $500 billion a year and it was time to stop. Nobody ever did it. It’s crazy. (Applause.) Nobody ever did it — $500 billion a year. And we’re going to have a great relationship with China, but we have to be fair to ourselves, also.

After years of rebuilding foreign countries, we are finally rebuilding our country, and we are doing it with — (applause) — American aluminum, American steel, and with our great electrical contractors. It’s true. But we’re rebuilding our country. (Applause.) Yep.

We’re committed to revitalizing our infrastructure and strengthening our electrical grid. It’s so important.

Last week, I proudly signed legislation to completely rebuild the United States military. We’re purchasing the finest equipment on Earth, and it will be all made right here in the USA. We make the best equipment in the world. (Applause.) We make the greatest military equipment in the world — greatest missiles, greatest rockets, greatest planes, best rifles, best ships. We make the best military equipment, by far, in the world.

And it’s made also — much less importantly, in this case, David — but it’s also made with American jobs, which is very good. Normally jobs is number one. When it comes to military, we’ll put jobs at number two. We need the equipment, right? Probably seldom so much as these times.

And interestingly — I hope we never have to use it — but you know what assures that, or at least almost assures that? Having the most powerful military, by far, that we’ve ever had means we’l probably never have to use it. It’s very simple. (Applause.) We learned that — we learned that a long time ago, right? We learned that a long time ago.

Another critical element of national security is energy security. And, Rick Perry, you’re doing a great job. I’m proud of you. Very proud of you. He was the governor of Texas for 12 years. He was not only a great governor; he was a great cheerleader. And he ran for President — he was nasty against me, wasn’t he, though? Wow. (Laughter.) He was tough. And you’re doing great, Rick. We appreciate it very much. (Applause.)

We are now the single largest producer of oil and gas anywhere in the world. This was very recent. (Applause.) Took a lot of regulations off. We have plenty left. But we took regulations off which allowed us to do things that we would never have been able to do. Think of it: We’re the single-largest producer of energy in the world. Did you ever think you were going to hear that? This all happened very quickly.

We’ve ended the war on clean, beautiful, Pennsylvenle [Pennsylvania] — hey — your clean, beautiful, Pennsylvania coal. Right? It’s beautiful. It’s clean. What they can do with coal today is incredible. And we have more of it than anybody in the world and we’re producing energy-rich Pennsylvania shale.

To get you more contracts and more jobs, we’ve slashed a record number of regulations. And we’ve approved immediately — like first day, first week — the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipelines. That’s 48,000 jobs in one day. Boom, boom. Had to sign something.

Those companies have never had it so good. That was dead. Both of them were dead. And I came along. I think it could’ve been my first day, Rick. Right? But close. And we signed it — 48,000 jobs immediately. And better than riding it on top, on the railroads. Better environmentally. You know, they talk about the environment.

And right now, our air is record clean. And our water is crystal clear. And that’s what we want. But we don’t want stopping jobs. We don’t want to do what some people wanted us to do — mostly, our foreign competitors.

And I’ve ordered federal agencies to dramatically speed up the federal permitting process so that you can get approvals much more quickly. We have the time down to one half of one half already. It used to take 20 years to get a highway approved; we’re close to two years, and I’d like to get it down to one.

And that doesn’t mean they’re going to approve it. But if they’re not going to approve it, somebody doesn’t have to give up their entire life going through an approval process only to have a 3 to 2 vote — “we’re not going to approve it.” (Applause.) So, we’re going to be close to one year, from twenty.

My administration has also taken historic action to make healthcare more affordable. Through Association Health Plans — that’s Alex — we are allowing businesses to band together and to buy much more affordable insurance for their employees, including across state lines — meaning you have tremendous competition. You have to see these insurance companies. They’re going crazy — sort of like the fake news media. They’re going crazy. (Laughter and applause.)

I used the term last night “loco” — in order to get the business — meaning you’re getting good deals. They’re getting great deals.

We opened up short-term, limited-duration plans so that individuals can buy the plan they want and the plan that they need at tremendously reduced costs. We’ve done great with that.

And we’ve eliminated much of Obamacare. And most importantly, we’ve eliminated the individual mandate. It’s gone. That was the thing in Obamacare that was just no good, where you paid a fortune for the privilege of not having to pay a fortune to have bad health care. Right? You know, guys are paying thousands of dollars so they don’t have to buy healthcare. (Applause.) We’ve gotten rid of it. Gone. That was a big one.

Thanks to our actions, I am pleased to announce that, for the first time since Obamacare was passed, premiums are not going to go up next year. We have done everything in the book. They are actually going to go down somewhat. And if we weren’t here, if you had another administration — they were going up another 122 percent, 153 percent, 70 percent, 80 percent.

And you look at what we’ve done, just through management of healthcare, and it’s not good stuff but we’ve keep the premiums down to the lowest number that they’ve been. So we’re very happy with that. A lot of people are very happy with that. (Applause.) Thank you.

And we’re strongly protecting your Medicare. We oppose efforts from Democrats to raid Medicare to fund socialism, robbing seniors of their benefits. Medicare belongs to the seniors who have earned it and paid into it for their entire lives. (Applause.) They want to take it away — the Democrats. And we will always protect Americans with preexisting conditions. That’s a major part of what I’m all about. (Applause.)

At the heart of our economic revival are the massive tax cuts passed by Republicans in Congress. We didn’t get one Democrat vote. And those tax cuts are one of the reasons the economy is doing so well. But you’re talking about a lot of money in the pockets of everybody in this room. A typical family of four earning $75,000, as an example, will see an income tax cut of more than $2,000, slashing their tax bill in half, and, in many cases, much more than that. (Applause.) Big difference.

And small businesses can now deduct 20 percent of their business income — one of the most significant small business tax cuts in the history of our country. Very big cut. Big incentive. (Applause.)

Capital investments are soaring because you can now immediately deduct every penny spent on new equipment. You can do one-year expensing. Nobody thought that was ever going to happen. In fact, I should leave and go back into business maybe. (Applause.) If you would have told me that when I was a private businessman, maybe I wouldn’t have run for President.

One-year — think of it — one-year expensing. Normally, you write it off over 30, 40 years. One-year expensing. That’s an incentive to go out and do what you have to do. And I always said that was going to be one of the most important things in the package. That was a small clause that a lot of people didn’t talk about. And I said, “That’s going to be one of the most important.”

And bringing back trillions of dollars from overseas — money that was going to be spent in other parts of the world. Apple is bringing back $230 billion. They’re building plants all over the United States, and a great — from what I hear, a great campus, they call it. So many things are happening. But billions and billions of dollars is being brought back into our country — money that could never have been brought back under the old system.

And from now on, small business owners will be spared from the deeply unfair estate tax, also known as the “death tax.” (Applause.)

So if you have a small business or a farm or something — and you love your kids — now, if you don’t love your kids, it doesn’t help you. (Laughter.) Because if your kids don’t treat you good, don’t leave it to them. Give it to somebody else. (Laughter.) So it doesn’t help.

But if you love your kids, which probably 82 percent of you do — according to most (inaudible) — (laughter) — you can now leave your small business or your beautiful little farm or whatever it is that you’re so proud of — you leave it to your kids, and they don’t have to go out to the bank and borrow to pay the tax and end up losing it in a foreclosure. It’s such a big thing. A lot of people don’t talk about it, but we were able to get it.

So the estate tax — and the death tax, which is sort of the same thing — but gone — essentially gone for small business. So that’s great. (Applause.) A very big thing.

One of the millions of small businesses that is thriving thanks to tax cuts is Wilson Construction Company in Canby, Oregon. Stacy Wilson runs the business with her family, and she joins us today. Stacy, please come up and tell us about the incredible growth that you’ve seen since the institution of our tax cuts. Where is Stacy? Go ahead, Stacy. Come on up. (Applause.) From Oregon.

Thank you, Stacy.

MS. WILSON: Thank you. Wow.

THE PRESIDENT: (Inaudible.)

MS. WILSON: Thank you very much. Wow.

THE PRESIDENT: I’ll put that down.

MS. WILSON: Thank you. Wow. Truly an honor. Thank you so much, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: It’s my honor.

MS. WILSON: As Mr. President said, my name is Stacy Wilson. We own an electrical contracting company out of Canby, Oregon. We are a midsize company that is family-owned. My grandfather started the company 65 years ago in Oregon and Washington. And my father, Don Wilson, has really made it what it is today — a nationwide company that specializes in transmission, distribution, and substation projects nationwide.

We employ about 500 employees. And thanks to Mr. Trump and the tax reforms and the general confidence in the economy, I guess, we have really been able to invest more in our employees and grow our company in the last year. We’re investing more in employee wages and benefits and bonuses. We’re spending millions on equipment and assets. And, in general, we’re just seeing a huge increase in work that is coming out because utilities are spending more to update this aging infrastructure.

So thank you very much.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you so much.

MS. WILSON: It’s made a huge impact. And — (applause) — so we are looking to grow about 20 to 30 percent more in employees just in the next few months. We have a lot of large projects that are starting. And this will make, I think, a big difference in — really, these incentives that are good for businesses are really important for our employees but also the communities we work in. And we’ve really been thankful and have seen this since President Trump has been in office.

So, thank you so much for this opportunity and this great acknowledgement. I never thought I would be up here, so thank you. (Laughs.) (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Stacy.

I see that, you know, Stacy comes up — no notes, no nothing, nothing to read — and gives a speech better than the politicians, folks. (Laughter.) The politicians, they walk up with papers; everything is scripted. They read it. They stutter. Look at her, she’s, like, great. (Applause.)

Okay, now she’s famous too, so she’ll probably become a governor of Oregon. (Applause.) She’ll become a governor, or a senator. Great job. Very impressive. That’s very impressive.

Another success story in this world, in this great land of ours, is Arcadia Electric in Ridgewood, New York. That’s right where I grew up — right near where I grew up. Company president Steve Gianotti is with us. And, Steve, could you come up and tell us about that great success that you’re experiencing, especially recently? Thank you, Steve. (Applause.)

MR. GIANOTTI: Good afternoon, everyone.

First, I’d like to thank President Trump for his perseverance in helping us with his fiscal policy, which have enabled my company, Arcadia Electric, to bid on more work, and take on more jobs that we’re able to do now because we have more coming that’s available to us, more than ever before.

And as a result of that, we have been able to keep our 120 people employed. But next year, we anticipate hiring 25 percent more hardworking union workers, middle-class workforce that will — (applause) — bring our company to approximately 150 employees, which we’re very proud of. They work hard. They’re the safest, hardest, union workers. And their professional abilities is what makes us successful.

And for that I have to, again, thank the President of the United States for his perseverance and for enabling us to get this work and to change the regulatory policies that he’s been doing — that he spoke of earlier. This is all helpful to us. So, President Trump, thank you very much. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thanks. Thank you, Steve. Great job.

We want to give every citizen the opportunity to achieve their American Dream. That’s why we’re committed to expanding apprenticeships, and on-the-job-training, and vocational education — you know, a word that you don’t hear that much. I’m bringing it back. Because when I was growing up — (applause) — I had so many vocational schools, and you don’t hear that anymore. (Applause.)

You hear “junior college.” You hear all sorts of names, but the vocational is what I understood and that’s what I like. And I had people that went to school with me, and, in some cases, they weren’t great students. But they could take apart an engine blindfolded, put it back together 15 different ways. They were so much more talented than the “A” student. We would have been “D” students. And that’s what they want to do, and that’s what they love, and it’s called “vocational.” So we’re bringing that word back a lot.

But you have tremendously talented people that are, frankly, making a tremendous living — making a lot of money. And we love those people. They’re very special, so we’re bringing back the word “vocational.” And we’re bringing it back strong. (Applause.)

My administration is making a historic investment in workforce development. We established the National Council on the American Worker, and I recently signed a bill to provide more than $1 billion annually for vocational education. (Applause.)

Employers all across the country are signing our Pledge to America’s Workers, expanding job opportunities for more than 4.2 million Americans. And that number is soon going to reach 10 million Americans, including 60,000 Americans who will have access to apprenticeships and on-the-job training thanks to the National Electrical Contractors Association. Thank you, David. (Applause.) Thank you, David.

And one of the countless Americans who has experienced the tremendous benefits of an apprenticeship is Liam Nickelaides — a proud Air Force veteran, a National Guardsman, and a member of Philadelphia’s own Local 98. Liam, please come up. Tell us your great story, please. (Applause.)

MR. NICKELAIDES: Yes. How is everybody doing today? (Laughter.)

So, as an apprentice, it’s a pretty easy schedule. Mondays, you wake up at 4:20 in the morning. Tuesdays, you wake up at the same time, you give a speech in front of a couple thousand people and the President of the United States. (Laughter and applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: That’s great.

MR. NICKELAIDES: For me, my apprenticeship experience has been a pretty good one. When I went to get a job with Local 98, as a member of the Air Force National Guard, I told them that there’d be a good chance that I’d be deploying pretty often. And I told them that during my interview. And I really thank God for the opportunity that they still gave me to get a job and to train me in their union.

So, I thought that maybe it would be just words that I’d get from Local 98. That, yeah, they support the military, but I didn’t really know if I could believe it. But I was able to deploy for three months — short little deployment. And upon my return, I was able to get pushed right back into the education program with the Local 98. And I’m back working — (applause) — upon arrival, back in the United States. And tomorrow, I’m waking up at 4:20, and going back to work again. (Laughter and applause.)

So, thank you. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Is he a natural? Huh? (Laughter and applause.) Thank you, Liam. Good luck with everything. Wow. That’s so great. That’s so great. They don’t even seem nervous, you know? (Laughter.) They come up here — no notes, no nothing. I think it’s great. Thank you very much.

And I want to thank you to everyone here today for your investment in America’s future, and for your devotion to the American worker. So important. Hardworking citizens like you who have always been the backbone of our nation will always be the most important factor in our nation. You make it grow, you make it work.

You power our homes, you light up our skylines, and you make the glory of America shine for all the world to see. You take pride in your work, and America takes pride in all of you in this big, beautiful room.

You pour out your hearts to earn a living, you create loving homes for your family, and you teach your children to cherish our values and to cherish our great American flag. (Applause.) Always.

In a house not far from where we are today, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, and forever changed the course of human history. Today, we reaffirm our nation’s founding truth: In America, the people govern.

The men and women who go to work each day are not only powering our economy, they are powering our nation and they are powering our freedom. (Applause.)

America will always be a nation of great builders. Because in America, we honor work. We honor grit. We honor craftsmanship. We honor the men and women who turn dreams into reality with their own two, beautiful hands. In America, we honor all of you. (Applause.)

With cable, copper, wire, and steel, you are the ones lighting America’s path forward. So important. So important. You may not even understand how important it is, what you do. You are the ones rebuilding this land that we love. You are the ones who are making America greater than ever before.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)

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