In his first State of the Union address since his inauguration, President called on Democrats and Republicans to put aside their difference and find a compromise on immigration and infrastructure after a year of partisan feuds under his leadership.
Delivering his prepared speech in the chamber of the House of Representatives, Trump said ”Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve”. The president seized the occasion to wane off the controversies surrounding his presidency at a period when a federal investigation into his campaign’s alleged links with Russia and low approval rating on the job. The 80 minutes long speech gave little policy details.
Though Trump bipartisan cooperation, the divide between both parties was obvious. Republican lawmakers and members of his cabinet applauded occasionally as he delivered his scripted message, the Democrats on the other hand silently watched.
The President past approach in unifying the political divide has been derailed by divisive statements and early morning tweets, so whether he will push through with his appeal for bipartisanship, remains to be seen. A feat which will be tested by his pledge in protecting 1.8 million ”Dreamers” who were brought illegally into the country as children They face a deadline of March 5 and risk deportation should their current status isn’t protected.
Trump said he will provide a pathway to citizenship for the Dreamers over a 10 to 12 year period. He calls it ‘extending an open hand” while requesting the funding of a wall along the southern border with Mexico and restrictions on legal immigration. He urged lawmakers ”let’s come together, set politics aside and finally get the job done”.
Taking credit for a bullish stock market, low unemployment rate, and brags about economic growth the Republicans tax cuts last December will bring forth. ”This is our new American moment. There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream” Trump said.
Seeking compromise on a plan to rebuild America’s aging infrastructure, Trump said he wanted legislation of close to $1.5 trillion for roads, airports, bridges, that will take the collective efforts of the federal government, state and the private sector to make it happen.
The President was calling for the kind cooperation that has been seen wanting throughout his one year in office.”I am asking both parties to come together to give us the safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure our economy needs and out people deserve”.
BaretaNews Foreign Correspondent/Analyst