Trump mentions USMCA, farmers, rural Internet, opioids, SNAP cuts
In a State of the Union speech that was reminiscent of President Ronald Reagan’s “It’s morning in America again” re-election campaign theme in 1984, President Donald Trump on Feb. 4 said, “I stand before you to share the incredible results. Jobs are booming, incomes are soaring, poverty is plummeting, crime is falling, confidence is surging, and our country is thriving and highly respected again! America’s enemies are on the run, America’s fortunes are on the rise, and America’s future is blazing bright.”
Trump continued, “I am thrilled to report to you tonight that our economy is the best it has ever been. Our military is completely rebuilt, with its power being unmatched anywhere in the world — and it is not even close. Our borders are secure. Our families are flourishing. Our values are renewed. Our pride is restored. And for all these reasons, I say to the people of our great country, and to the members of Congress before me: The state of our union is stronger than ever before!”
In his one-hour, 18-minute speech, Trump made only a few references to agriculture or rural America.
He highlighted his recent signature on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement on trade and said, “The USMCA will create nearly 100,000 new high-paying American auto jobs, and massively boost exports for our farmers, ranchers, and factory workers. It will also bring trade with Mexico and Canada to a much higher degree, but also to a much greater level of fairness and reciprocity. This is the first major trade deal in many years to earn the strong backing of America’s labor unions.”
He also said, “We must also rebuild America’s infrastructure” and urged Congress to pass a highway bill sponsored by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., “to invest in new roads, bridges, and tunnels across our land.”
He added, “I am also committed to ensuring that every citizen can have access to high-speed Internet, including rural America.”
Trump also took credit for a reduction in drug overdose deaths, a major issue in rural America.
“With unyielding commitment, we are curbing the opioid epidemic — drug overdose deaths declined for the first time in nearly 30 years,” Trump said. “Among the states hardest hit, Ohio is down 22%, Pennsylvania is down 18%, Wisconsin is down 10% — and we will not quit until we have beaten the opioid epidemic once and for all.”
Trump also described the reduction in the number of people on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as an accomplishment.
“Under the last administration, more than 10 million people were added to the food stamp rolls. Under my administration, 7 million Americans have come off of food stamps, and 10 million people have been lifted off of welfare,” Trump said. ❖
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