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President Trump Addresses Congress For First Time In Office

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -

10:07 p.m. This is how the president finished up his address:

The time for small thinking is over. The time for trivial fights is behind us. We just need the courage to share the dreams that fill our hearts. The bravery to express the hopes that stir our souls. And the confidence to turn those hopes and dreams to action.

“From now on, America will be empowered by our aspirations, not burdened by our fears, inspired by the future, not bound by the failures of the past, and guided by our vision, not blinded by our doubts,” he said. “I am asking all citizens to embrace this Renewal of the American Spirit.  I am asking all members of Congress to join me in dreaming big, and bold and daring things for our country.  And I am asking everyone watching tonight to seize this moment and believe in yourselves. Believe in your future and believe, once more, in America.”

10:04 p.m. Mr. Trump reiterated his support for NATO despite his comments from the campaign trail. 

“We strongly support NATO, an alliance forged through the bonds of two World Wars that dethroned fascism, and a Cold War that defeated communism. But our partners must meet their financial obligations,” he said. 

“And now, based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning to do just that. We expect our partners, whether in NATO, in the Middle East, or the Pacific –- to take a direct and meaningful role in both strategic and military operations, and pay their fair share of the cost. We will respect historic institutions, but we will also respect the sovereign rights of nations.”

10:00 p.m. A long round of applause followed Mr. Trump’s story of U.S. Navy Special Operator Senior Chief William “Ryan Owens,” whose widow, Carryn Owens, was seated in the House gallery next to the president’s daughter, Ivanka. 

“Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero battling against terrorism and securing our nation,” the president said. I just spoke to General Mattis, who reconfirmed that, and I quote, “Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies.” Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity,” he said.

His widow was seen crying and looking up to the ceiling as she reacted to the president’s remarks. There was a long and rousing round of applause.

9:56 p.m. The president said that his budget blueprint would rebuild the military, alleviate defense spending caps and call for “one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.”

“My budget will also increase funding for our veterans. Our veterans have delivered for this Nation –- and now we must deliver for them,” Mr. Trump said. 

9:52 p.m. Mr. Trump spoke about violence across the U.S. and respect for and trust in law enforcement. 

“Every American child should be able to grow up in a safe community, to attend a great school, and to have access to a high-paying job. But to create this future, we must work with –- not against -– the men and women of law enforcement. We must build bridges of cooperation and trust –- not drive the wedge of disunity and division,” he said. 

“Police and sheriffs are members of our community. They are friends and neighbors, they are mothers and fathers, sons and daughters – and they leave behind loved ones every day who worry whether or not they’ll come home safe and sound. We must support the incredible men and women of law enforcement.”

9:48 p.m. The president began speaking about regulations and mentioned a guest in the House gallery named Megan Crowley who was diagnosed with Pompe disease when she was 15 months old and was only expected to live for a few more years.

“On receiving this news, Megan’s dad, John, fought with everything he had to save the life of his precious child.  He founded a company to look for a cure, and helped develop the drug that saved Megan’s life. Today she is 20 years old -- and a sophomore at Notre Dame,” he said. “But our slow and burdensome approval process at the Food and Drug Administration keeps too many advances, like the one that saved Megan’s life, from reaching those in need. If we slash the restraints, not just at the FDA but across our Government, then we will be blessed with far more miracles like Megan.”

9:42 p.m. Mr. Trump began laying out specifics of what he would like to see in a replacement plan.

“First, we should ensure that Americans with pre-existing conditions have access to coverage, and that we have a stable transition for Americans currently enrolled in the healthcare exchanges.

Secondly, we should help Americans purchase their own coverage, through the use of tax credits and expanded Health Savings Accounts –- but it must be the plan they want, not the plan forced on them by the Government.

Thirdly, we should give our great State Governors the resources and flexibility they need with Medicaid to make sure no one is left out.

Fourthly, we should implement legal reforms that protect patients and doctors from unnecessary costs that drive up the price of insurance – and work to bring down the artificially high price of drugs and bring them down immediately.

Finally, the time has come to give Americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across State lines –- creating a truly competitive national marketplace that will bring cost way down and provide far better care,” he said.”

9:39 p.m. The president also called on Congress again to “repeal and replace Obamacare,” which drew loud applause from the Republican side of the room and images of Democrats giving a thumbs down. 

“Mandating every American to buy government-approved health insurance was never the right solution for America,” he said. “The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance, and that is what we will do.”

9:38 p.m. Mr. Trump reiterated his call for Congress to pass an infrastructure package.

To launch our national rebuilding, I will be asking the Congress to approve legislation that produces a $1 trillion investment in the infrastructure of the United States -- financed through both public and private capital, creating millions of new jobs,” he said. 

He said that the effort would be guided by two core principles: “Buy American and hire American.”

9:36 p.m. The president suggested that he believes Republicans and Democrats can eventually reach an immigration reform compromise. 

I believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible, as long as we focus on the following goals: to improve jobs and wages for Americans, to strengthen our nation’s security, and to restore respect for our laws,” he said. “If we are guided by the well-being of American citizens then I believe Republicans and Democrats can work together to achieve an outcome that has eluded our country for decades.”

9:35 p.m. Mr. Trump vowed to “bring back millions of jobs” and suggested that it’s all tied to the immigration system. 

“Protecting our workers also means reforming our system of legal immigration.  The current, outdated system depresses wages for our poorest workers, and puts great pressure on taxpayers,” he said. 

“Nations around the world, like Canada, Australia and many others –- have a merit-based immigration system.  It is a basic principle that those seeking to enter a country ought to be able to support themselves financially,” he added. “Yet, in America, we do not enforce this rule, straining the very public resources that our poorest citizens rely upon.  According to the National Academy of Sciences, our current immigration system costs America’s taxpayers many billions of dollars a year.”

9:33 p.m. The president said that his team is “developing historic tax reform that will reduce the tax rate on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone.” He said it will be “a big, big cut.” He also vowed to provide “massive tax relief for the middle class.”

9:28 p.m. The president said that he asks the Senate to “swiftly approve” the nomination of his Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch, to fill the vacant seat left by Justice Antonin Scalia. 

9:25 p.m. Mr. Trump began talking about terrorism and what he called measures the administration is taking to protect the nation from “radical Islamic terrorism.” He began to preview the forthcoming revised travel ban. 

“It is not compassionate, but reckless, to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur,” he said. Those given the high honor of admission to the United States, should support this country and love its people and its values. We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America – we cannot allow our nation to become a sanctuary for extremists. That is why my Administration has been working on improved vetting procedures, and we will shortly take new steps to keep our nation safe – and to keep out those who would do us harm.”

9:24 p.m. The president said that the administration is now enforcing immigration laws.

“By finally enforcing our immigration laws, we will raise wages, help the unemployed, save billions and billions of dollars, and make our communities safer for everyone.  We want all Americans to succeed, but that can’t happen in an environment of lawless chaos. We must restore integrity and the rule of law to our borders,” Mr. Trump said.

He repeated his promise to soon start construction of a “great, great wall along our southern border.”

“As we speak, we are removing gang members, drug dealers and criminals that threaten our communities and prey on our citizens. Bad ones are going out as I speak and as I promised throughout the campaign,” he said. 

9:20 p.m. Mr. Trump began listing what he said is the progress the U.S. has made since his inauguration last month. He said he has kept his promises so far. U.S. companies like General Motors, Ford, Lockheed and Intel have pledged to create “tens of thousands of new American jobs,” he said. 

The president said that the administration has placed a hiring freeze on non-military personnel, imposed a five-year ban on lobbying by executive branch officials and creating a deregulation task force. He noted that he withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and have authorized the construction of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipeline.

Mr. Trump said that he has directed the Department of Justice to create a task force to reduce crime. 

“I have further ordered the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, along with the Department of State and the Director of National Intelligence, to coordinate an aggressive strategy to dismantle the Criminal Cartels that have spread all across this nation,” he said.

9:15 p.m. The president began to talk about how the middle class has suffered in the U.S. as the government has focused more on foreign countries.

“We’ve defended the borders of other nations, while leaving our own borders wide open, for anyone to cross – and for drugs to pour in at a now unprecedented rate. And we’ve spent trillions of dollars overseas, while our infrastructure at home has so badly crumbled. Then, in 2016, the earth shifted beneath our feet,” he said.

“The rebellion started as a quiet protest, spoken by families of all colors and creeds – families who just wanted a fair shot for their children, and a fair hearing for their concerns. But then the quiet voices became a loud chorus – as thousands of citizens now spoke out together, from cities small and large, all across our country. Finally, the chorus became an earthquake – and the people turned out by the tens of millions, and they were all united by one very simple, but crucial demand, that America must put its own citizens first...because only then, can we truly, make America great again.”

9:12 p.m. CBS News’ Mark Knoller has confirmed that Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin is the designated survivor.

9:09 p.m. The president began his address by pointing out that Black History Month is coming to an end and he said, “We are reminded of our nation’s path toward civil rights and the work that still remains to be done.” 

Mr. Trump then began to talk about the recent bomb threats plaguing Jewish Community Centers across the U.S., vandalism at a Jewish cemetery and the shooting of Indian men in Kansas. 

He said that those incidents “remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that remains united in condemning hate and evil in all of its many ugly forms.”

9:08 p.m. Mr. Trump has made it up to the podium and will begin his address now.

9:04 p.m. President Trump has entered the House chamber and is shaking hands with lawmakers lined up along the main aisle on the floor.

8:57 p.m. First lady Melania Trump has entered the House chamber in the gallery above the House floor. She appears to be wearing a black sparkly blazer and matching skirt with a belt.

8:45 p.m. Approximately 200 people from three marches-- including members of the ACLU, Working Families Party and Indivisible grassroots-- have combined and gathered outside the Capitol Building in Upper Senate Park, CBS News’ Nicole Sganga reports.

With the Capitol as their backdrop, protesters are carrying pots, pans, umbrellas megaphones and banners reading “We the People.” The group is chanting, “Immigrants are welcome here,” “No walls, no fear” and “This is what democracy looks like.” 

Earlier, a band played music. Volunteers are handing out flyers with instructions for undocumented seeking asylum. 

8:10 p.m. Mr. Trump will discuss tax cuts and the Obamacare repeal in his speech tonight, according to excerpts obtained by CBS News’ Jacqueline Alemany. And striking a bipartisan note, Mr. Trump will also discuss “working with members in both parties to make child care accessible and affordable to help insure new parents have paid family leave to invest in women’s health and to promote clean air and clean water and rebuild our military infrastructure.” 

“We will raise wages, help the unemployed, save billions of dollars and make our communities safer for everyone,” Mr. Trump will say, according to the excerpts. 

“Our economic team is developing historic tax reform that ill reduce the tax rate on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and will anyone. At the same time, we will provide massive tax relief for the middle class.” 

At another point in the speech, Mr. Trump will discuss a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. 

“Tonight I am also calling on this congress to repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time provide better healthcare,” Mr. Trump will say. “Mandating every American to buy government approve health insurance was never the right solution for America. The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the costs of health insurance and that is what we will do.”

Mr. Trump will also speak broadly about the need for the country and dispense with “trivial fights.” 

“The time for small thinking is over,” Mr. Trump will say. “The time for trivial fights is behind us. We just need the courage to share the dreams that fill our hearts, the bravery to express the hopes that stir our souls and the confidence To turn those hopes and dreams to action. From now on America, will be empowered by or aspirations not burdened by our fears.”

12:30 p.m. Mr. Trump is set to deliver his first address to a joint session of Congress tonight around 9 p.m. ET from the U.S. Capitol. CBS News has confirmed that first lady Melania Trump will attend the address. 

The president sat down for an interview with Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” which aired in the morning, to preview his address. He told them, “All I can do is speak from the heart and say what I want to do,” and he said he’d be talking about his plans for health care, the military, and the border, among other things. 

It’s unclear who the designated survivor will be -- the member of Mr. Trump’s cabinet who will sit out the address in case of an attack on the Capitol. Here’s a history of the designated survivor.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, will bring an Iraqi refugee as a guest to the event and House Democratic women are planning to wear white to the address, which they said is the official color of the suffragette movement. 

“We wear white to unite against any attempts by the Trump Administration to roll back the incredible progress women have made in the last century, and we will continue to support the advancement of all women.  We will not go back,” Rep. Lois Frankel, chairwoman of the Democratic Women’s Working Group, said in a statement.

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