Trump gives nod to Republican tax-credit proposal on Obamacare

Streamlining regulations and speeding up the approval process for new projects, cutting taxes, rebuilding the nation's military, slashing government spending and increasing infrastructure spending are among the goals that President Donald Trump will outline to a joint session of Congress on February 28.

On the health insurance front, President Trump renewed his call for "repealing and replacing" Obamacare, his predecessor's signature health insurance program that has provided coverage for more than 20 million Americans who can not afford or can not get health insurance through an employer. He also issued a call for American renewal in stark contrast to the aggressively nationalist posture he outlined at his inauguration in January.

A number of federal officials did not show up for the president's first address including U.S. Rep. Al Green, D-Houston, and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg among others.

NY post described it as the best speech of his life and the most remarkable speech in decades by a Chief Executive to a Joint Session of Congress.

By starting off the speech by condemning the new wave of anti-Semitic attacks, Trump set the right tone, displayed true presidential leadership and signaled that this wouldn't be the typical Trump performance we had grown accustomed to.

The address to Congress was more about showmanship and stagecraft - two of Trump's most abundant talents - than the nuts and bolts of "draining the swamp" and reforming the federal government.

Former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear gave the Democratic response following Trump's address.

He didn't go that far in his speech to Congress. Democrats and activist groups said Mr. Trump was talking big in private but failing to deliver in public.

The big, handsome wall is still very much on Trump's mind. However, Trump made no mention of those working in the U.S. on temporary professional work visas known as H-1B.

The session is a chance for the industry to weigh in on the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 health law also known as Obamacare.

"We must work together to save Americans from Obamacare - you people know that and everyone knows that - to create more competition and to bring down prices substantially", Trump told insurers at a meeting at the White House. "I believe this is a focus that will be met with great enthusiasm by the American people".

It was also a message centered on policies that serve his controversial campaign theme of "America first", including a major increase in defense spending, a pull-back from multilateral trade agreements, the border wall, and tax cuts for corporations and the middle class.

We pray that the gentle tone of this feisty president will become his hallmark, because it is long overdue.

Trump's call for comprehensive immigration reform, reportedly added to the address at the last minute, was a small glimmer of light for moderate Republicans and Democrats who want to finally resolve the problem once and for all. Congress must approve Trump's vision.

"My job is not to represent the world", Trump said.

  • Arturo Norris