Donald J. Trump Forty-Fifth President
(2017 to 2021)
State of the Union Address
January 30, 2018 - Washington, D.C.
TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:
Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of
the United States, and my fellow Americans:
Less than 1 year
has passed since I first stood at this podium, in this majestic
chamber, to speak on behalf of the American People — and to address
their concerns, their hopes, and their dreams. That night, our new
Administration had already taken swift action. A new tide of
optimism was already sweeping across our land.
since, we have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous
mission — to make America great again for all Americans.
the last year, we have made incredible progress and achieved
extraordinary success. We have faced challenges we expected, and
others we could never have imagined. We have shared in the heights
of victory and the pains of hardship. We endured floods and fires
and storms. But through it all, we have seen the beauty of America’s
soul, and the steel in America’s spine.
Each test has forged
new American heroes to remind us who we are, and show us what we can
We saw the volunteers of the “Cajun Navy,” racing to the
rescue with their fishing boats to save people in the aftermath of a
We saw strangers shielding strangers
from a hail of gunfire on the Las Vegas strip.
We heard tales
of Americans like Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashlee Leppert, who is
here tonight in the gallery with Melania. Ashlee was aboard one of
the first helicopters on the scene in Houston during Hurricane
Harvey. Through 18 hours of wind and rain, Ashlee braved live power
lines and deep water, to help save more than 40 lives. Thank you,
We heard about Americans like firefighter David
Dahlberg. He is here with us too. David faced down walls of flame to
rescue almost 60 children trapped at a California summer camp
threatened by wildfires.
To everyone still recovering in
Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands,
California, and everywhere else — we are with you, we love you, and
we will pull through together.
Some trials over the past year
touched this chamber very personally. With us tonight is one of the
toughest people ever to serve in this House — a guy who took a
bullet, almost died, and was back to work three and a half months
later: the legend from Louisiana, Congressman Steve Scalise.
We are incredibly grateful for the heroic efforts of the Capitol
Police Officers, the Alexandria Police, and the doctors, nurses, and
paramedics who saved his life, and the lives of many others in this
In the aftermath of that terrible shooting, we came
together, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as representatives of
the people. But it is not enough to come together only in times of
tragedy. 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 last year, the world has seen what we always knew: that no
people on Earth are so fearless, or daring, or determined as
Americans. If there is a mountain, we climb it. If there is a
frontier, we cross it. If there is a challenge, we tame it. If there
is an opportunity, we seize it.
So let us begin tonight by
recognizing that the state of our Union is strong because our people
And together, we are building a safe, strong, and
Since the election, we have created 2.4
million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone.
After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.
Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. African-American
unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic
American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.
Small business confidence is at an all-time high. The stock
market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in
value. That is great news for Americans’ 401k, retirement, pension,
and college savings accounts.
And just as I promised the
American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the
biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history.
tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small
To lower tax rates for hardworking Americans, we
nearly doubled the standard deduction for everyone. Now, the first
$24,000 earned by a married couple is completely tax-free. We also
doubled the child tax credit.
A typical family of four making
$75,000 will see their tax bill reduced by $2,000 — slashing their
tax bill in half.
This April will be the last time you ever
file under the old broken system — and millions of Americans will
have more take-home pay starting next month.
We eliminated an
especially cruel tax that fell mostly on Americans making less than
$50,000 a year — forcing them to pay tremendous penalties simply
because they could not afford government-ordered health plans. We
repealed the core of disastrous Obamacare — the individual mandate
is now gone.
We slashed the business tax rate from 35 percent
all the way down to 21 percent, so American companies can compete
and win against anyone in the world. These changes alone are
estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000.
Small businesses have also received a massive tax cut, and can
now deduct 20 percent of their business income.
are Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger of Staub Manufacturing — a small
business in Ohio. They have just finished the best year in their
20-year history. Because of tax reform, they are handing out raises,
hiring an additional 14 people, and expanding into the building next
One of Staub’s employees, Corey Adams, is also with us
tonight. Corey is an all-American worker. He supported himself
through high school, lost his job during the 2008 recession, and was
later hired by Staub, where he trained to become a welder. Like many
hardworking Americans, Corey plans to invest his tax‑cut raise into
his new home and his two daughters’ education. Please join me in
Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3
million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them
thousands of dollars per worker. Apple has just announced it plans
to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another
This is our new American moment. There has
never been a better time to start living the American Dream.
So to every citizen watching at home tonight — no matter where you
have been, or where you come from, this is your time. If you work
hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then
you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can
Tonight, I want to talk about what kind of
future we are going to have, and what kind of Nation we are going to
be. All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American
We all share the same home, the same heart, the same
destiny, and the same great American flag.
Together, we are
rediscovering the American way.
In America, we know that
faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of
the American life. Our motto is “in God we trust.”
celebrate our police, our military, and our amazing veterans as
heroes who deserve our total and unwavering support.
tonight is Preston Sharp, a 12-year-old boy from Redding,
California, who noticed that veterans’ graves were not marked with
flags on Veterans Day. He decided to change that, and started a
movement that has now placed 40,000 flags at the graves of our great
heroes. Preston: a job well done.
Young patriots like Preston
teach all of us about our civic duty as Americans. Preston’s
reverence for those who have served our Nation reminds us why we
salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge
of allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem.
Americans love their country. And they deserve a Government that
shows them the same love and loyalty in return.
For the last
year we have sought to restore the bonds of trust between our
citizens and their Government.
Working with the Senate, we
are appointing judges who will interpret the Constitution as
written, including a great new Supreme Court Justice, and more
circuit court judges than any new administration in the history of
We are defending our Second Amendment, and have
taken historic actions to protect religious liberty.
are serving our brave veterans, including giving our veterans choice
in their healthcare decisions. Last year, the Congress passed, and I
signed, the landmark VA Accountability Act. Since its passage, my
Administration has already removed more than 1,500 VA employees who
failed to give our veterans the care they deserve — and we are
hiring talented people who love our vets as much as we do.
will not stop until our veterans are properly taken care of, which
has been my promise to them from the very beginning of this great
All Americans deserve accountability and respect —
and that is what we are giving them. So tonight, I call on the
Congress to empower every Cabinet Secretary with the authority to
reward good workers — and to remove Federal employees who undermine
the public trust or fail the American people.
In our drive to
make Washington accountable, we have eliminated more regulations in
our first year than any administration in history.
ended the war on American Energy — and we have ended the war on
clean coal. We are now an exporter of energy to the world.
Detroit, I halted Government mandates that crippled America’s
autoworkers — so we can get the Motor City revving its engines once
Many car companies are now building and expanding
plants in the United States — something we have not seen for
decades. Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico to Michigan;
Toyota and Mazda are opening up a plant in Alabama. Soon, plants
will be opening up all over the country. This is all news Americans
are unaccustomed to hearing — for many years, companies and jobs
were only leaving us. But now they are coming back.
progress is happening every day.
To speed access to
breakthrough cures and affordable generic drugs, last year the FDA
approved more new and generic drugs and medical devices than ever
before in our history.
We also believe that patients with
terminal conditions should have access to experimental treatments
that could potentially save their lives.
People who are
terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek
a cure — I want to give them a chance right here at home. It is time
for the Congress to give these wonderful Americans the “right to
One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of
prescription drugs. In many other countries, these drugs cost far
less than what we pay in the United States. That is why I have
directed my Administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug
prices one of our top priorities. Prices will come down.
America has also finally turned the page on decades of unfair trade
deals that sacrificed our prosperity and shipped away our companies,
our jobs, and our Nation’s wealth.
The era of economic
surrender is over.
From now on, we expect trading
relationships to be fair and to be reciprocal.
We will work
to fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones.
And we will
protect American workers and American intellectual property, through
strong enforcement of our trade rules.
As we rebuild our
industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.
America is a nation of builders. We built the Empire State
Building in just 1 year — is it not a disgrace that it can now take
10 years just to get a permit approved for a simple road?
am asking both parties to come together to give us the safe, fast,
reliable, and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people
Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a
bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new
infrastructure investment we need.
Every Federal dollar
should be leveraged by partnering with State and local governments
and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment — to
permanently fix the infrastructure deficit.
Any bill must
also streamline the permitting and approval process — getting it
down to no more than two years, and perhaps even one.
Together, we can reclaim our building heritage. We will build
gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways
across our land. And we will do it with American heart, American
hands, and American grit.
We want every American to know the
dignity of a hard day’s work. We want every child to be safe in
their home at night. And we want every citizen to be proud of this
land that we love.
We can lift our citizens from welfare to
work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to
As tax cuts create new jobs, let us invest in
workforce development and job training. Let us open great vocational
schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their
full potential. And let us support working families by supporting
paid family leave.
As America regains its strength, this
opportunity must be extended to all citizens. That is why this year
we will embark on reforming our prisons to help former inmates who
have served their time get a second chance.
communities, especially immigrant communities, will also be helped
by immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American
workers and American families.
For decades, open borders have
allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable
communities. They have allowed millions of low-wage workers to
compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans. Most
tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives.
Here tonight are two fathers and two mothers: Evelyn Rodriguez,
Freddy Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado, and Robert Mickens. Their two
teenage daughters — Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens — were close
friends on Long Island. But in September 2016, on the eve of Nisa’s
16th Birthday, neither of them came home. These two precious girls
were brutally murdered while walking together in their hometown. Six
members of the savage gang MS-13 have been charged with Kayla and
Nisa’s murders. Many of these gang members took advantage of glaring
loopholes in our laws to enter the country as unaccompanied alien
minors ‑- and wound up in Kayla and Nisa’s high school.
Evelyn, Elizabeth, Freddy, and Robert: Tonight, everyone in this
chamber is praying for you. Everyone in America is grieving for you.
And 320 million hearts are breaking for you. We cannot imagine the
depth of your sorrow, but we can make sure that other families never
have to endure this pain.
Tonight, I am calling on the
Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed
MS-13, and other criminals, to break into our country. We have
proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws, and
support our ICE and Border Patrol Agents, so that this cannot ever
The United States is a compassionate nation. We
are proud that we do more than any other country to help the needy,
the struggling, and the underprivileged all over the world. But as
President of the United States, my highest loyalty, my greatest
compassion, and my constant concern is for America’s children,
America’s struggling workers, and America’s forgotten communities. I
want our youth to grow up to achieve great things. I want our poor
to have their chance to rise.
So tonight, I am extending an
open hand to work with members of both parties — Democrats and
Republicans — to protect our citizens of every background, color,
religion, and creed. My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected
official in this chamber, is to defend Americans — to protect their
safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the
American Dream. Because Americans are dreamers too.
tonight is one leader in the effort to defend our country: Homeland
Security Investigations Special Agent Celestino Martinez — he goes
by CJ. CJ served 15 years in the Air Force before becoming an ICE
agent and spending the last 15 years fighting gang violence and
getting dangerous criminals off our streets. At one point, MS-13
leaders ordered CJ’s murder. But he did not cave to threats or fear.
Last May, he commanded an operation to track down gang members on
Long Island. His team has arrested nearly 400, including more than
220 from MS-13.
CJ: Great work. Now let us get the Congress
to send you some reinforcements.
Over the next few weeks, the
House and Senate will be voting on an immigration reform package.
In recent months, my Administration has met extensively with
both Democrats and Republicans to craft a bipartisan approach to
immigration reform. Based on these discussions, we presented the
Congress with a detailed proposal that should be supported by both
parties as a fair compromise — one where nobody gets everything they
want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs.
Here are the four pillars of our plan:
The first pillar
of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8
million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at
a young age — that covers almost three times more people than the
previous administration. Under our plan, those who meet education
and work requirements, and show good moral character, will be able
to become full citizens of the United States.
pillar fully secures the border. That means building a wall on the
Southern border, and it means hiring more heroes like CJ to keep our
communities safe. Crucially, our plan closes the terrible loopholes
exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter our country — and it
finally ends the dangerous practice of “catch and release.”
The third pillar ends the visa lottery — a program that randomly
hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the
safety of our people. It is time to begin moving towards a
merit-based immigration system — one that admits people who are
skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and
who will love and respect our country.
The fourth and final
pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration. Under
the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually
unlimited numbers of distant relatives. Under our plan, we focus on
the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor
children. This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy,
but for our security, and our future.
In recent weeks, two
terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery
and chain migration. In the age of terrorism, these programs present
risks we can no longer afford.
It is time to reform these
outdated immigration rules, and finally bring our immigration system
into the 21st century.
These four pillars represent a
down-the-middle compromise, and one that will create a safe, modern,
and lawful immigration system.
For over 30 years, Washington
has tried and failed to solve this problem. This Congress can be the
one that finally makes it happen.
Most importantly, these
four pillars will produce legislation that fulfills my ironclad
pledge to only sign a bill that puts America first. So let us come
together, set politics aside, and finally get the job done.
These reforms will also support our response to the terrible crisis
of opioid and drug addiction.
In 2016, we lost 64,000
Americans to drug overdoses: 174 deaths per day. Seven per hour. We
must get much tougher on drug dealers and pushers if we are going to
succeed in stopping this scourge.
My Administration is
committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment
for those in need. The struggle will be long and difficult — but, as
Americans always do, we will prevail.
As we have seen
tonight, the most difficult challenges bring out the best in
We see a vivid expression of this truth in the story
of the Holets family of New Mexico. Ryan Holets is 27 years old, and
an officer with the Albuquerque Police Department. He is here
tonight with his wife Rebecca. Last year, Ryan was on duty when he
saw a pregnant, homeless woman preparing to inject heroin. When Ryan
told her she was going to harm her unborn child, she began to weep.
She told him she did not know where to turn, but badly wanted a safe
home for her baby.
In that moment, Ryan said he felt God
speak to him: “You will do it — because you can.” He took out a
picture of his wife and their four kids. Then, he went home to tell
his wife Rebecca. In an instant, she agreed to adopt. The Holets
named their new daughter Hope.
Ryan and Rebecca: You embody
the goodness of our Nation. Thank you, and congratulations.
As we rebuild America’s strength and confidence at home, we are also
restoring our strength and standing abroad.
Around the world,
we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and
Russia that challenge our interests, our economy, and our values. In
confronting these dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path
to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means of our defense.
For this reason, I am asking the Congress to end the dangerous
defense sequester and fully fund our great military.
of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal,
hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and
powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression. Perhaps someday
in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of
the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons.
Unfortunately, we are not there yet.
Last year, I also
pledged that we would work with our allies to extinguish ISIS from
the face of the Earth. One year later, I am proud to report that the
coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 percent of the
territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria. But there is
much more work to be done. We will continue our fight until ISIS is
Army Staff Sergeant Justin Peck is here tonight.
Near Raqqa last November, Justin and his comrade, Chief Petty
Officer Kenton Stacy, were on a mission to clear buildings that ISIS
had rigged with explosives so that civilians could return to the
Clearing the second floor of a vital hospital, Kenton
Stacy was severely wounded by an explosion. Immediately, Justin
bounded into the booby-trapped building and found Kenton in bad
shape. He applied pressure to the wound and inserted a tube to
reopen an airway. He then performed CPR for 20 straight minutes
during the ground transport and maintained artificial respiration
through 2 hours of emergency surgery.
Kenton Stacy would have
died if not for Justin’s selfless love for a fellow warrior.
Tonight, Kenton is recovering in Texas. Raqqa is liberated. And
Justin is wearing his new Bronze Star, with a “V” for “Valor.” Staff
Sergeant Peck: All of America salutes you.
Terrorists who do
things like place bombs in civilian hospitals are evil. When
possible, we annihilate them. When necessary, we must be able to
detain and question them. But we must be clear: Terrorists are not
merely criminals. They are unlawful enemy combatants. And when
captured overseas, they should be treated like the terrorists they
In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of
dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield —
including the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi.
So today, I am
keeping another promise. I just signed an order directing Secretary
Mattis to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open
the detention facilities at Guant�namo Bay.
I am also asking
the Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS and al-Qa’ida,
we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists —
wherever we chase them down.
Our warriors in Afghanistan also
have new rules of engagement. Along with their heroic Afghan
partners, our military is no longer undermined by artificial
timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies our plans.
month, I also took an action endorsed unanimously by the Senate just
months before: I recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Shortly afterwards, dozens of countries voted in the United
Nations General Assembly against America’s sovereign right to make
this recognition. American taxpayers generously send those same
countries billions of dollars in aid every year.
That is why,
tonight, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to help ensure
American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests,
and only go to America’s friends.
As we strengthen
friendships around the world, we are also restoring clarity about
When the people of Iran rose up against the
crimes of their corrupt dictatorship, I did not stay silent. America
stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for
I am asking the Congress to address the fundamental
flaws in the terrible Iran nuclear deal.
has also imposed tough sanctions on the communist and socialist
dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela.
But no regime has
oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel
dictatorship in North Korea.
North Korea’s reckless pursuit
of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland.
are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from
Past experience has taught us that complacency and
concessions only invite aggression and provocation. I will not
repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this
We need only look at the depraved
character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the
nuclear threat it could pose to America and our allies.
Warmbier was a hardworking student at the University of Virginia. On
his way to study abroad in Asia, Otto joined a tour to North Korea.
At its conclusion, this wonderful young man was arrested and charged
with crimes against the state. After a shameful trial, the
dictatorship sentenced Otto to 15 years of hard labor, before
returning him to America last June — horribly injured and on the
verge of death. He passed away just days after his return.
Otto’s Parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, are with us tonight — along
with Otto’s brother and sister, Austin and Greta. You are powerful
witnesses to a menace that threatens our world, and your strength
inspires us all. Tonight, we pledge to honor Otto’s memory with
Finally, we are joined by one more witness
to the ominous nature of this regime. His name is Mr. Ji Seong-ho.
In 1996, Seong-ho was a starving boy in North Korea. One day, he
tried to steal coal from a railroad car to barter for a few scraps
of food. In the process, he passed out on the train tracks,
exhausted from hunger. He woke up as a train ran over his limbs. He
then endured multiple amputations without anything to dull the pain.
His brother and sister gave what little food they had to help him
recover and ate dirt themselves — permanently stunting their own
growth. Later, he was tortured by North Korean authorities after
returning from a brief visit to China. His tormentors wanted to know
if he had met any Christians. He had — and he resolved to be free.
Seong-ho traveled thousands of miles on crutches across China
and Southeast Asia to freedom. Most of his family followed. His
father was caught trying to escape, and was tortured to death.
Today he lives in Seoul, where he rescues other defectors, and
broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears the most ‑- the
Today he has a new leg, but Seong-ho, I understand you
still keep those crutches as a reminder of how far you have come.
Your great sacrifice is an inspiration to us all.
story is a testament to the yearning of every human soul to live in
It was that same yearning for freedom that nearly
250 years ago gave birth to a special place called America. It was a
small cluster of colonies caught between a great ocean and a vast
wilderness. But it was home to an incredible people with a
revolutionary idea: that they could rule themselves. That they could
chart their own destiny. And that, together, they could light up the
That is what our country has always been about. That
is what Americans have always stood for, always strived for, and
Atop the dome of this Capitol stands the Statue
of Freedom. She stands tall and dignified among the monuments to our
ancestors who fought and lived and died to protect her.
Monuments to Washington and Jefferson — to Lincoln and King.
Memorials to the heroes of Yorktown and Saratoga — to young
Americans who shed their blood on the shores of Normandy, and the
fields beyond. And others, who went down in the waters of the
Pacific and the skies over Asia.
And freedom stands tall over
one more monument: this one. This Capitol. This living monument to
the American people.
A people whose heroes live not only in
the past, but all around us — defending hope, pride, and the
They work in every trade. They sacrifice to
raise a family. They care for our children at home. They defend our
flag abroad. They are strong moms and brave kids. They are
firefighters, police officers, border agents, medics, and Marines.
But above all else, they are Americans. And this Capitol, this
city, and this Nation, belong to them.
Our task is to respect
them, to listen to them, to serve them, to protect them, and to
always be worthy of them.
Americans fill the world with art
and music. They push the bounds of science and discovery. And they
forever remind us of what we should never forget: The people dreamed
this country. The people built this country. And it is the people
who are making America great again.
As long as we are proud
of who we are, and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we
As long as we have confidence in our values,
faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will not fail.
Our families will thrive.
Our people will prosper.
And our Nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and
mighty and free.