A Thriving Union
Last week, President Donald Trump delivered his third State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress. Focused on what he dubbed the “Great American Comeback,” the president’s speech rightly touted the tremendous results of his leadership during the last three years. And I was encouraged that he also outlined an optimistic agenda to continue building on the significant progress made. President Trump came to office determined and ready to fulfill the promises he made to the American people, and I am proud that he has successfully done just that.
Before he’d even finished his first year in office, President Trump worked with Republicans in Congress to deliver the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which continues to benefit hardworking American families and small business job creators. But he didn’t stop there. Along with negotiating and achieving incredible trade wins in recent days, he also certainly deserves credit for reining in needless regulations and eliminating damaging rules to the American economy.
As a direct result of the president’s laser focus on improving economic policies over the last three years, there’s no question that the economy is booming. More than 7 million jobs have been created nationwide, unemployment has hit the lowest level in 50 years and consumer confidence is the highest it’s been in a generation. In Oklahoma specifically, unemployment has fallen below 3.4 percent, at least 41,000 jobs have been created across the state and wages continue to rise.
Even amid a choppy global economy, the United States continues to lead the developed world in job creation and economic benefits for its citizens. Among the president’s latest achievements is the historic United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which he skillfully negotiated on America’s behalf in order to replace outdated terms of trade with our North American neighbors. And just last month, he signed Phase 1 of a critical trade deal with China. I am encouraged that negotiations are underway on other potential trade deals with our traditional allies like Japan.
Following years of underfunding the nation’s defense during the previous administration, I am proud that President Trump has actively sought to rebuild the American military and restore much-needed readiness for our troops. The steps taken to strengthen our common defense have put our service members in a better position to fight our adversaries, including successful defeat of the physical caliphate established by ISIS and the removal of many terrorist leaders from the battlefield.
Indeed, the president’s decisive action in recently taking out terrorist leaders like Qasem Soleimani hits close to home for many Americans, including two Oklahomans who were present as special guests of the president and first lady during last week’s speech. Kelli Hake and her son Gage know all too well the bitter consequences of the brutal terrorism directed by Soleimani. In 2008, it meant the loss of Kelli’s husband and Gage’s father, Army Staff Sergeant Christopher Hake. While Sergeant Hake was on patrol in Baghdad, he was tragically killed by a roadside bomb supplied by Soleimani to target and kill Americans. By ridding the world of Soleimani and other terrorists intending to do us or our allies harm, the president has helped make the world a safer place and made it clear that the U.S. will not stand idly by. As the president said himself, “Our message to the terrorists is clear: You will never escape American justice. If you attack our citizens, you forfeit your life.”
In addition to demonstrating strong resolve in defense of America, I am proud that President Trump remains committed to pursuing transformational peace around the world and “working to finally end America’s longest war and bring our troops back home.” Most recently, this included putting forward a bold vision for peace between Israel and the Palestinian people.
When the president outlined his goals for the future, I was encouraged to hear his desire to pursue commonsense reforms for improving education, protecting and providing quality healthcare, lowering prescription drug prices, securing our border, repairing our broken infrastructure and taking care of the environment. As one of the most outspoken presidents in defense of life, he rightly called on Congress to protect our most vulnerable Americans and finally ban the late-term abortion of babies.
Of urgent concern and as we monitor the spread of the coronavirus, I was glad the president affirmed his commitment to defending the public health. During his speech, President Trump reassured those listening, “Protecting Americans’ health also means fighting infectious diseases. We are coordinating with the Chinese government and working closely together on the coronavirus outbreak in China. My administration will take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from this threat.”
During a time of sharp divisions and deep polarization nationwide, I am proud that the president delivered a masterful speech inviting all Americans to remember and appreciate just how far we’ve come and just how far we can still go. As President Trump said, “The American age, the American epic, the American adventure has only just begun.”