Wicker Expects Bold Ideas in Trump’s First Address to Congress
President Should Outline Plans for Job Creation, Economic Growth, and Health-Care Reform
President Trump will address a joint session of Congress on February 28 – his first since taking office. This speech is typical for new presidents during their first year, replacing the annual State of the Union address held in January. Like the State of the Union, the nationally televised joint session will give the President a chance to speak directly to the American people.
This is an opportune moment for President Trump to outline the major policy proposals and reforms that will shape his Administration’s agenda over the coming year. Americans voted for change in November, and I hope President Trump will heed this call, putting forward bold ideas that have the potential to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Those ideas should prioritize pressing needs like job creation, economic growth, and health-care reform.
The Next Step for Health Care
Congress took steps to repeal the health-care law in January, and I look forward to supporting policies that equip Americans with more insurance choices and lower health-care costs. The President campaigned on replacing the health-care law, and this prime-time address offers an opportunity for him to talk about how he will work with lawmakers to take the next step.
The President could also use this address to reaffirm his focus on enduring economic growth, which has been sluggish since the 2008 recession. He could remind the American people how he is committed to simplifying the tax code and eliminating onerous regulations. Both of these reforms could go a long way toward injecting certainty and confidence into the economy – a boon for growth. Instead of dealing with more red tape, America’s chief job creators – our small businesses – should be empowered to hire new workers and expand their operations.
Modern Infrastructure Supports U.S. Jobs
Reforms to the tax code and checks on regulatory overreach are not the only avenues to encourage economic growth. There is also support for strategic investments, such as President Trump’s pledge to improve our country’s infrastructure. Updated roads, bridges, railroads, ports, and harbors are important to public safety. Additionally, they facilitate the reliable and efficient transportation of U.S. goods, which supports a healthy economy and American jobs.
Unlike President Obama’s nearly $1 trillion stimulus, this plan should produce results. The 2009 stimulus failed to live up to its promises for lower unemployment and shovel-ready jobs.
Modernizing infrastructure, however, goes beyond our country’s roads and bridges. It can mean the strengthening of our telecommunication networks. On February 23, the Federal Communications Commission voted to move forward with its efforts to increase mobile broadband access in rural areas. This promises to pave the way for more economic development in some of our nation’s most underserved communities. It also represents the type of action in Washington that can help bring about real and lasting change for American workers and families.
The President has no shortage of issues to cover in the joint session of Congress. What the American people should hear on Tuesday night are the ideas and plans to address those issues, meeting current challenges with practical and responsible solutions.