President Trump has made his first speech to a joint session of Congress, laying out the basics of his agenda.
And as he issued a broad call for overhauling the nation’s health care and boosting military spending, he swapped his trademark pugnaciousness and personal insults for a more restrained tone.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 1, 2017
Heralding a “new chapter of American greatness”, the president said: “The time for small thinking is over.”
Here’s what you need to know.
How did he start the address?
Loud cheers for Trump from the Republicans as he enters, polite claps at best from the Democrats— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) March 1, 2017
He began by condemning the attacks on Jewish cemeteries and the Kansas City shootings.
Trump said: “We are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms.”
Right off top POTUS started w/ Black History Month, mentioning anti-Semitic incidents, Kansas - "condemning hate and evil in all it's forms"— Kailani Koenig (@kailanikm) March 1, 2017
Trump opens #Jointsession lamenting attacks on Jewish cemeteries & threats to Jewish schools, after remaining silent on the issue for days— Alice Miranda Ollstein (@AliceOllstein) March 1, 2017
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 1, 2017
Horrific threats against our Jewish community are an attack on us all. We must stand up to hate, bigotry and intimidation. #SeattleUnited— Ed Murray (@MayorEdMurray) March 1, 2017
What did he say about immigration?
Trump’s overall message on immigration was unexpectedly mixed.
He said: “Real and positive immigration reform is possible.”
He had earlier suggested to news anchors that he was open to legislation that could provide a pathway to legal status for some of the millions of people living in the US illegally.
What else did he talk about?
Trump laid out five principles for a new health care plan: pic.twitter.com/G06592QxYj— Axios (@axios) March 1, 2017
On the topic of Barack Obama’s signature health care law, Trump offered a basic blueprint of his priorities. This included ensuring that those with pre-existing conditions have access to coverage, allowing people to buy insurance across state lines and offering tax credits and expanded health savings accounts to help Americans purchase coverage.
He suggested he would get rid of the requirement that all Americans carry insurance coverage.
He said: “Mandating every American to buy government-approved health insurance was never the right solution for America.”
Making a direct appeal for bipartisanship, he turned to Democrats and said: “Why not join forces to finally get the job done and get it done right?”
Meanwhile, the president was vague in his call for tax reform, another Republican priority. He promised “massive tax relief for the middle class” and a reduction in corporate tax rates, but glossed over how he would offset the cuts.
The president also urged Congress to pass a trillion-dollar (£800 billion) infrastructure package financed through public and private capital.
“The time has come for a new programme of national rebuilding,” he said.
We are one people, with one destiny.
We all bleed the same blood.
We all salute the same flag.
And we are all made by the same God.— President Trump (@POTUS) March 1, 2017
And his national security message? It centred largely on a call for significantly boosting military spending and taking strong but unspecified measures to protect the nation from “radical Islamic terrorism”.
What is the reaction on Twitter?
As well as people discussing the reactions of people there…
Ted likes it pic.twitter.com/56TQyYsfr2— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) March 1, 2017
.@SpeakerRyan does a really good resting pleasant face. Pence looks earnest & attentive. But I do kind of miss Biden's winks & antics— Maeve Reston (@MaeveReston) March 1, 2017
Many of those commenting on the address felt Trump had a noticeably different tone.
For any other president this would be a boring, laundry list speech. For Trump - amazing, responsible, detailed, uniting, presidential!— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) March 1, 2017
He's hitting the same issues and themes he talks about at rallies but this is the first time he's used a different tone to sell his agenda— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) March 1, 2017
Interesting to wonder what this past month might have been like if Trump had adopted this "bipartisan" tone in his Inauguration address.— adam nagourney (@adamnagourney) March 1, 2017
If he'd be this guy most of the time, I'd breathe a lot easier.— Susie Moore (@SmoosieQ) March 1, 2017
Anything else we should know?
One thing a lot of people are talking about on Twitter is what Democratic women were wearing…
That’s because in an act of solidarity, more than 40 Democratic leaders wore “suffragette” white to unite against the roll back for women’s progress and rights.