President Donald Trump delivered his second State of the Union address this week, urging Congress to “reject the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution — and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise and the common good.”
I viewed the speech as a much-needed reminder of why we should all be proud to be American. “As we have seen, when we are united, we can make astonishing strides for our country,” Trump said. Over the last two years, our nation has proven that extraordinary accomplishments are possible with bipartisan cooperation. Examples would be the bipartisan criminal justice reform bill that was recently signed into law, creating a fairer sentencing system for all Americans. Also, President Trump worked alongside Congress to fight the devastating opioid crisis. We have worked hard to pass legislation for our veterans, ensuring they receive the highest level of respect and care. And finally, I had the opportunity to write many provisions of S. 2155, the most significant pro-growth banking deregulation bill in decades which passed both chambers of Congress with bipartisan support.
On Tuesday, the president reaffirmed his commitments to the American people, outlining his major priorities to continue the economic boom, fight unfair trade deals, protect our children, rebuild American infrastructure and stop illegal immigration.
Since the 2016 election, more than 5.3 million jobs have been created, with 304,000 jobs added last month alone. America is finally seeing sustained economic growth, averaging 3 percent over the last four quarters. For the first time in history, job openings have exceeded the number of unemployed. By continuing to support pro-growth legislation and making the economic health of our nation a priority, I believe generations of Americans will have the opportunity to achieve their dreams.
Across Missouri and in our district, farmers have been impacted by unfair trade deals for years. President Trump understands the need for fair and reciprocal trade, and under his leadership, Americans across the nation are being protected by holding other countries accountable. Trump is working to secure the best trade deals possible and that is why I support his trade negotiations, which he is winning. Thus, I believe he will keep his promise on this issue.
In addition to supporting American workers, President Trump reaffirmed his commitment to protecting the precious gift of life, an issue that is very important to me and something I have consistently fought for by supporting pro-life legislation. With recent news highlighting a disgusting disregard for life, it’s obvious that the fight is not over, and we must continue. As President Trump said, we must “work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.”
Representing rural communities in Missouri, I understand the challenges facing my constituents who are unable to reliably access broadband technology. With fellow Missouri Congressman Sam Graves leading the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I am confident that we will provide rural Missourians with access to 21st century infrastructure, including rural broadband.
Finally, President Trump reaffirmed his commitment to keep Americans safe and secure our borders. Republicans and Democrats can both agree: Our current immigration system is outdated and simply not working. As President Trump said in his State of the Union address, “We have a moral duty to create an immigration system that protects the lives and jobs of our citizens…Simply put, walls work and walls save lives. So let’s work together, compromise, and reach a deal that will truly make America safe.”
The State of the Union address is a time-honored tradition that allows the president of the United States to speak directly to the citizens of this country, and the overwhelming majority of Americans approved of the President’s unifying message. As President Trump said, we must “keep America first in our hearts” and “choose whether we are defined by our differences — or whether we dare to transcend them.” That is his challenge to each of us: We can do better, we can be more.
U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., shares his perspective each week on national issues, including ones that affect Missouri. He represents the state’s 3rd District, which includes Jefferson City. His local office can be reached at 635-7232.