[House Document 116-90]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

116th Congress, 2d Session - - - - - - - - - - House Document 116-90









February 5, 2020.--Message and accompanying papers referred to the 
 Committee on the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered 
 to be printed 

99-011                     WASHINGTON : 2020 
To the Congress of the United States:
    Madam Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the 
First Lady of the United States, and my fellow citizens:
    Three years ago, we launched the great American comeback. 
Tonight, I stand before you to share the incredible results. 
Jobs are booming, incomes are soaring, poverty is plummeting, 
crime is falling, confidence is surging, and our country is 
thriving and highly respected again! America's enemies are on 
the run, America's fortunes are on the rise, and America's 
future is blazing bright.
    The years of economic decay are over. The days of our 
country being used, taken advantage of, and even scorned by 
other nations are long behind us. Gone too are the broken 
promises, jobless recoveries, tired platitudes, and constant 
excuses for the depletion of American wealth, power, and 
    In just 3 short years, we have shattered the mentality of 
American decline, and we have rejected the downsizing of 
America's destiny. We are moving forward at a pace that was 
unimaginable just a short time ago, and we are never going 
    I am thrilled to report to you tonight that our economy is 
the best it has ever been. Our military is completely rebuilt, 
with its power being unmatched anywhere in the world--and it is 
not even close. Our borders are secure. Our families are 
flourishing. Our values are renewed. Our pride is restored. And 
for all these reasons, I say to the people of our great 
country, and to the Members of Congress before me: The State of 
our Union is stronger than ever before!
    The vision I will lay out this evening demonstrates how we 
are building the world's most prosperous and inclusive 
society--one where every citizen can join in America's 
unparalleled success, and where every community can take part 
in America's extraordinary rise.
    From the instant I took office, I moved rapidly to revive 
the United States economy--slashing a record number of job-
killing regulations, enacting historic and record-setting tax 
cuts, and fighting for fair and reciprocal trade agreements. 
Our agenda is relentlessly pro-worker, pro-family, pro-growth, 
and, most of all, pro-American. We are advancing with unbridled 
optimism and lifting high our citizens of every race, color, 
religion, and creed.
    Since my election, we have created 7 million new jobs--5 
million more than Government experts projected during the 
previous administration.
    The unemployment rate is the lowest in over half a century.
    Incredibly, the average unemployment rate under my 
Administration is lower than any administration in the history 
of our country. If we had not reversed the failed economic 
policies of the previous administration, the world would not 
now be witness to America's great economic success.
    The unemployment rates for African-Americans, Hispanic-
Americans, and Asian-Americans have reached the lowest levels 
in history. African-American youth unemployment has reached an 
all-time low.
    African-American poverty has declined to the lowest rate 
ever recorded.
    The unemployment rate for women reached the lowest level in 
almost 70 years--and last year, women filled 72 percent of all 
new jobs added.
    The veterans' unemployment rate dropped to a record low.
    The unemployment rate for disabled Americans has reached an 
all-time low.
    Workers without a high school diploma have achieved the 
lowest unemployment rate recorded in United States history.
    A record number of young Americans are now employed.
    Under the last administration, more than 10 million people 
were added to the food stamp rolls. Under my Administration, 7 
million Americans have come off of food stamps, and 10 million 
people have been lifted off of welfare.
    In 8 years under the last administration, over 300,000 
working-age people dropped out of the workforce. In just 3 
years of my Administration, 3.5 million working-age people have 
joined the workforce.
    Since my election, the net worth of the bottom half of wage 
earners has increased by 47 percent--3 times faster than the 
increase for the top 1 percent. After decades of flat and 
falling incomes, wages are rising fast--and, wonderfully, they 
are rising fastest for low-income workers, who have seen a 16 
percent pay-increase since my election. This is a blue collar 
    Real median household income is now at the highest level 
ever recorded!
    Since my election, United States stock markets have soared 
70 percent, adding more than $12 trillion to our Nation's 
wealth, transcending anything anyone believed was possible--
this, as other countries are not doing well. Consumer 
confidence has reached amazing new heights.
    All of those millions of people with 401(k)s and pensions 
are doing far better than they have ever done before with 
increases of 60, 70, 80, 90, and even 100 percent.
    Jobs and investment are pouring into 9,000 previously-
neglected neighborhoods thanks to Opportunity Zones, a plan 
spearheaded by Senator Tim Scott as part of our great 
Republican tax cuts. In other words, wealthy people and 
companies are pouring money into poor neighborhoods or areas 
that have not seen investment in many decades, creating jobs, 
energy, and excitement. This is the first time that these 
deserving communities have seen anything like this. It is all 
    Opportunity Zones are helping Americans like Army Veteran 
Tony Rankins from Cincinnati, Ohio. After struggling with drug 
addiction, Tony lost his job, his house, and his family--he was 
homeless. But then Tony found a construction company that 
invests in Opportunity Zones. He is now a top tradesman, drug-
free, reunited with his family, and he is here tonight. Tony: 
Keep up the great work.
    Our roaring economy has, for the first time ever, given 
many former prisoners the ability to get a great job and a 
fresh start. This second chance at life is made possible 
because we passed landmark Criminal Justice Reform into law. 
Everybody said that Criminal Justice Reform could not be done, 
but I got it done, and the people in this room got it done.
    Thanks to our bold regulatory reduction campaign, the 
United States has become the number one producer of oil and 
natural gas in the world, by far. With the tremendous progress 
we have made over the past 3 years, America is now energy 
independent, and energy jobs, like so many elements of our 
country, are at a record high. We are doing numbers that no one 
would have thought possible just 3 years ago.
    Likewise, we are restoring our Nation's manufacturing 
might, even though predictions were that this could never be 
done. After losing 60,000 factories under the previous two 
administrations, America has now gained 12,000 new factories 
under my Administration with thousands upon thousands of plants 
and factories being planned or built. We have created over half 
a million new manufacturing jobs. Companies are not leaving; 
they are coming back. Everybody wants to be where the action 
is, and the United States of America is, indeed, where the 
action is.
    One of the single biggest promises I made to the American 
people was to replace the disastrous NAFTA trade deal. In fact, 
unfair trade is perhaps the single biggest reason that I 
decided to run for President. Following NAFTA's adoption, our 
Nation lost one in four manufacturing jobs. Many politicians 
came and went, pledging to change or replace NAFTA--only to do 
absolutely nothing. But unlike so many who came before me, I 
keep my promises. Six days ago, I replaced NAFTA and signed the 
brand new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) into 
    The USMCA will create nearly 100,000 new high-paying 
American auto jobs, and massively boost exports for our 
farmers, ranchers, and factory workers. It will also bring 
trade with Mexico and Canada to a much higher degree, but also 
to a much greater level of fairness and reciprocity. This is 
the first major trade deal in many years to earn the strong 
backing of America's labor unions.
    I also promised our citizens that I would impose tariffs to 
confront China's massive theft of American jobs. Our strategy 
worked. Days ago, we signed the groundbreaking new agreement 
with China that will defend our workers, protect our 
intellectual property, bring billions of dollars into our 
treasury, and open vast new markets for products made and grown 
right here in the United States of America. For decades, China 
has taken advantage of the United States, now we have changed 
that but, at the same time, we have perhaps the best 
relationship we have ever had with China, including with 
President Xi. They respect what we have done because, quite 
frankly, they could never believe what they were able to get 
away with year after year, decade after decade, without someone 
in our country stepping up and saying: Enough. Now, we want to 
rebuild our country, and that is what we are doing.
    As we restore American leadership throughout the world, we 
are once again standing up for freedom in our hemisphere. That 
is why my Administration reversed the failing policies of the 
previous administration on Cuba. We are supporting the hopes of 
Cubans, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans to restore democracy. The 
United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition 
against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro. 
Maduro is an illegitimate ruler, a tyrant who brutalizes his 
people. But Maduro's grip of tyranny will be smashed and 
broken. Here this evening is a man who carries with him the 
hopes, dreams, and aspirations of all Venezuelans. Joining us 
in the gallery is the true and legitimate President of 
Venezuela, Juan Guaido. Mr. President, please take this message 
back to your homeland. All Americans are united with the 
Venezuelan people in their righteous struggle for freedom! 
Socialism destroys nations. But always remember, freedom 
unifies the soul.
    To safeguard American Liberty, we have invested a record-
breaking $2.2 trillion in the United States Military. We have 
purchased the finest planes, missiles, rockets, ships, and 
every other form of military equipment--all made in the United 
States of America. We are also finally getting our allies to 
help pay their fair share. I have raised contributions from the 
other NATO members by more than $400 billion, and the number of 
allies meeting their minimum obligations has more than doubled.
    And just weeks ago, for the first time since President 
Truman established the Air Force more than 70 years earlier, we 
created a new branch of the United States Armed Forces, the 
Space Force.
    In the gallery tonight, we have one of the Space Force's 
youngest potential recruits: 13-year-old Iain Lanphier, an 
eighth grader from Arizona. Iain has always dreamed of going to 
space. He was first in his class and among the youngest at an 
aviation academy. He aspires to go to the Air Force Academy, 
and then, he has his eye on the Space Force. As Iain says, 
``most people look up at space, I want to look down on the 
    Sitting beside Iain tonight is his great hero. Charles 
McGee was born in Cleveland, Ohio, one century ago. Charles is 
one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen--the first black 
fighter pilots--and he also happens to be Iain's great 
grandfather. After more than 130 combat missions in World War 
II, he came back to a country still struggling for Civil Rights 
and went on to serve America in Korea and Vietnam. On December 
7th, Charles celebrated his 100th birthday. A few weeks ago, I 
signed a bill promoting Charles McGee to Brigadier General. And 
earlier today, I pinned the stars on his shoulders in the Oval 
Office. General McGee: Our Nation salutes you.
    From the pilgrims to our Founders, from the soldiers at 
Valley Forge to the marchers at Selma, and from President 
Lincoln to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Americans 
have always rejected limits on our children's future.
    Members of Congress, we must never forget that the only 
victories that matter in Washington are victories that deliver 
for the American people. The people are the heart of our 
country, their dreams are the soul of our country, and their 
love is what powers and sustains our country. We must always 
remember that our job is to put America first!
    The next step forward in building an inclusive society is 
making sure that every young American gets a great education 
and the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. Yet, for too 
long, countless American children have been trapped in failing 
government schools. To rescue these students, 18 States have 
created school choice in the form of Opportunity Scholarships. 
The programs are so popular, that tens of thousands of students 
remain on waiting lists. One of those students is Janiyah 
Davis, a fourth grader from Philadelphia. Janiyah's mom 
Stephanie is a single parent. She would do anything to give her 
daughter a better future. But last year, that future was put 
further out of reach when Pennsylvania's Governor vetoed 
legislation to expand school choice for 50,000 children.
    Janiyah and Stephanie are in the gallery this evening. But 
there is more to their story. Janiyah, I am pleased to inform 
you that your long wait is over. I can proudly announce tonight 
that an Opportunity Scholarship has become available, it is 
going to you, and you will soon be heading to the school of 
your choice!
    Now, I call on the Congress to give 1 million American 
children the same opportunity Janiyah has just received. Pass 
the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act--because 
no parent should be forced to send their child to a failing 
government school.
    Every young person should have a safe and secure 
environment in which to learn and grow. For this reason, our 
magnificent First Lady has launched the ``Be Best'' 
initiative--to advance a safe, healthy, supportive, and drug-
free life for the next generation, online, in school, and in 
our communities. Thank you, Melania, for your extraordinary 
love and profound care for America's children.
    My Administration is determined to give our citizens the 
opportunities they need regardless of age or background. 
Through our Pledge to American Workers, over 400 companies will 
also provide new jobs and education opportunities to almost 15 
million Americans.
    My Budget also contains an exciting vision for our Nation's 
high schools. Tonight, I ask the Congress to support our 
students and back my plan to offer vocational and technical 
education in every single high school in America.
    To expand equal opportunity, I am also proud that we 
achieved record and permanent funding for our Nation's 
Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
    A good life for American families also requires the most 
affordable, innovative, and high-quality healthcare system on 
Earth. Before I took office, health insurance premiums had more 
than doubled in just 5 years. I moved quickly to provide 
affordable alternatives. Our new plans are up to 60 percent 
less expensive. I have also made an ironclad pledge to American 
families: We will always protect patients with pre-existing 
conditions--that is a guarantee. And we will always protect 
your Medicare and your Social Security.
    The American patient should never be blindsided by medical 
bills. That is why I signed an Executive Order requiring price 
transparency. Many experts believe that transparency, which 
will go into full effect at the beginning of next year, will be 
even bigger than healthcare reform. It will save families 
massive amounts of money for substantially better care.
    But as we work to improve Americans' healthcare, there are 
those who want to take away your healthcare, take away your 
doctor, and abolish private insurance entirely. One hundred 
thirty-two lawmakers in this room have endorsed legislation to 
impose a socialist takeover of our healthcare system, wiping 
out the private health insurance plans of 180 million 
Americans. To those watching at home tonight, I want you to 
know: We will never let socialism destroy American healthcare!
    Over 130 legislators in this chamber have endorsed 
legislation that would bankrupt our Nation by providing free 
taxpayer-funded healthcare to millions of illegal aliens, 
forcing taxpayers to subsidize free care for anyone in the 
world who unlawfully crosses our borders. These proposals would 
raid the Medicare benefits our seniors depend on, while acting 
as a powerful lure for illegal immigration. This is what is 
happening in California and other States--their systems are 
totally out of control, costing taxpayers vast and unaffordable 
amounts of money. If forcing American taxpayers to provide 
unlimited free healthcare to illegal aliens sounds fair to you, 
then stand with the radical left. But if you believe that we 
should defend American patients and American seniors, then 
stand with me and pass legislation to prohibit free Government 
healthcare for illegal aliens!
    This will be a tremendous boon to our already very-strongly 
guarded southern border where, as we speak, a long, tall, and 
very powerful wall is being built. We have now completed over 
100 miles and will have over 500 miles fully completed by early 
next year.
    My Administration is also taking on the big pharmaceutical 
companies. We have approved a record number of affordable 
generic drugs, and medicines are being approved by the FDA at a 
faster clip than ever before. I was pleased to announce last 
year that, for the first time in 51 years, the cost of 
prescription drugs actually went down.
    And working together, the Congress can reduce drug prices 
substantially from current levels. I have been speaking to 
Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and others in the Congress in 
order to get something on drug pricing done, and done properly. 
I am calling for bipartisan legislation that achieves the goal 
of dramatically lowering prescription drug prices. Get a bill 
to my desk, and I will sign it into law without delay.
    With unyielding commitment, we are curbing the opioid 
epidemic--drug overdose deaths declined for the first time in 
nearly 30 years. Among the States hardest hit, Ohio is down 22 
percent, Pennsylvania is down 18 percent, Wisconsin is down 10 
percent--and we will not quit until we have beaten the opioid 
epidemic once and for all.
    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.
    We have launched ambitious new initiatives to substantially 
improve care for Americans with kidney disease, Alzheimer's, 
and those struggling with mental health challenges. And because 
the Congress funded my request, we are pursuing new cures for 
childhood cancer, and we will eradicate the AIDS epidemic in 
America by the end of the decade.
    Almost every American family knows the pain when a loved 
one is diagnosed with a serious illness. Here tonight is a 
special man, someone beloved by millions of Americans who just 
received a Stage 4 advanced cancer diagnosis. This is not good 
news, but what is good news is that he is the greatest fighter 
and winner that you will ever meet. Rush Limbaugh: Thank you 
for your decades of tireless devotion to our country. Rush, in 
recognition of all that you have done for our Nation, the 
millions of people a day that you speak to and inspire, and all 
of the incredible work that you have done for charity, I am 
proud to announce tonight that you will be receiving our 
country's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of 
Freedom. I will now ask the First Lady of the United States to 
please stand and present you with the honor. Rush, Kathryn, 
    As we pray for all who are sick, we know that America is 
constantly achieving new medical breakthroughs. In 2017, 
doctors at St. Luke's hospital in Kansas City delivered one of 
the earliest premature babies ever to survive. Born at just 21 
weeks and 6 days, and weighing less than a pound, Ellie 
Schneider was born a fighter. Through the skill of her 
doctors--and the prayers of her parents--little Ellie kept on 
winning the battle for life. Today, Ellie is a strong, healthy 
2-year-old girl sitting with her amazing mother Robin in the 
gallery. Ellie and Robin: We are so glad you are here.
    Ellie reminds us that every child is a miracle of life. 
Thanks to modern medical wonders, 50 percent of very premature 
babies delivered at the hospital where Ellie was born now 
survive. Our goal should be to ensure that every baby has the 
best chance to thrive and grow just like Ellie. That is why I 
am asking the Congress to provide an additional $50 million to 
fund neo-natal research for America's youngest patients. That 
is also why I am calling upon the Members of Congress here 
tonight to pass legislation finally banning the late-term 
abortion of babies Whether we are Republican, Democrat, or 
Independent, surely we must all agree that every human life is 
a sacred gift from God!
    As we support America's moms and dads, I was recently proud 
to sign the law providing new parents in the Federal workforce 
paid family leave, serving as a model for the rest of the 
country. Now, I call on the Congress to pass the bipartisan 
Advancing Support for Working Families Act, extending family 
leave to mothers and fathers all across the Nation.
    Forty million American families have an average $2,200 
extra thanks to our child tax credit. I have also overseen 
historic funding increases for high-quality child care, 
enabling 17 States to serve more children, many of which have 
reduced or eliminated their waitlists altogether. And I sent 
the Congress a plan with a vision to further expand access to 
high-quality childcare and urge you to act immediately.
    To protect the environment, days ago, I announced that the 
United States will join the One Trillion Trees Initiative, an 
ambitious effort to bring together Government and the private 
sector to plant new trees in America and around the world.
    We must also rebuild America's infrastructure. I ask you to 
pass Senator Barrasso's highway bill--to invest in new roads, 
bridges, and tunnels across our land.
    I am also committed to ensuring that every citizen can have 
access to high-speed Internet, including rural America.
    A better tomorrow for all Americans also requires us to 
keep America safe. That means supporting the men and women of 
law enforcement at every level, including our Nation's heroic 
ICE officers.
    Last year, our brave ICE officers arrested more than 
120,000 criminal aliens charged with nearly 10,000 burglaries, 
5,000 sexual assaults, 45,000 violent assaults, and 2,000 
    Tragically, there are many cities in America where radical 
politicians have chosen to provide sanctuary for these criminal 
illegal aliens. In Sanctuary Cities, local officials order 
police to release dangerous criminal aliens to prey upon the 
public, instead of handing them over to ICE to be safely 
    Just 29 days ago, a criminal alien freed by the Sanctuary 
City of New York was charged with the brutal rape and murder of 
a 92-year-old woman. The killer had been previously arrested 
for assault, but under New York's sanctuary policies, he was 
set free. If the city had honored ICE's detainer request, his 
victim would be alive today.
    The State of California passed an outrageous law declaring 
their whole State to be a sanctuary for criminal illegal 
immigrants--with catastrophic results.
    Here is just one tragic example. In December 2018, 
California police detained an illegal alien with five prior 
arrests, including convictions for robbery and assault. But as 
required by California's Sanctuary Law, local authorities 
released him.
    Days later, the criminal alien went on a gruesome spree of 
deadly violence. He viciously shot one man going about his 
daily work; he approached a woman sitting in her car and shot 
her in the arm and the chest. He walked into a convenience 
store and wildly fired his weapon. He hijacked a truck and 
smashed into vehicles, critically injuring innocent victims. 
One of the victims of his bloody rampage was a 51-year-old 
American named Rocky Jones. Rocky was at a gas station when 
this vile criminal fired eight bullets at him from close range, 
murdering him in cold blood. Rocky left behind a devoted 
family, including his brothers who loved him more than 
anything. One of his grieving brothers is here with us tonight. 
Jody, would you please stand? Jody, our hearts weep for your 
loss--and we will not rest until you have justice.
    Senator Thom Tillis has introduced legislation to allow 
Americans like Jody to sue Sanctuary Cities and States when a 
loved one is hurt or killed as a result of these deadly 
policies. I ask the Congress to pass the Justice for Victims of 
Sanctuary Cities Act immediately. The United States of America 
should be a sanctuary for law-abiding Americans--not criminal 
    In the last 3 years, ICE has arrested over 5,000 wicked 
human traffickers--and I have signed 9 pieces of legislation to 
stamp out the menace of human trafficking, domestically and 
around the globe.
    My Administration has undertaken an unprecedented effort to 
secure the southern border of the United States.
    Before I came into office, if you showed up illegally on 
our southern border and were arrested, you were simply released 
and allowed into our country, never to be seen again. My 
Administration has ended Catch-and-Release. If you come 
illegally, you will now be promptly removed. We entered into 
historic cooperation agreements with the Governments of Mexico, 
Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. As a result of our 
unprecedented efforts, illegal crossings are down 75 percent 
since May--dropping 8 straight months in a row. And as the wall 
goes up, drug seizures rise, and border crossings go down.
    Last year, I traveled to the border in Texas and met Chief 
Patrol Agent Raul Ortiz. Over the last 24 months, Agent Ortiz 
and his team have seized more than 200,000 pounds of poisonous 
narcotics, arrested more than 3,000 human smugglers, and 
rescued more than 2,000 migrants. Days ago, Agent Ortiz was 
promoted to Deputy Chief of Border Patrol--and he joins us 
tonight. Chief Ortiz: Please stand--a grateful Nation thanks 
you and all the heroes of Border Patrol.
    To build on these historic gains, we are working on 
legislation to replace our outdated and randomized immigration 
system with one based on merit, welcoming those who follow the 
rules, contribute to our economy, support themselves 
financially, and uphold our values.
    With every action, my Administration is restoring the rule 
of law and re-asserting the culture of American freedom. 
Working with Senate Majority Leader McConnell and his 
colleagues in the Senate, we have confirmed a record number of 
187 new Federal judges to uphold our Constitution as written. 
This includes two brilliant new Supreme Court Justices, Neil 
Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh.
    My Administration is also defending religious liberty, and 
that includes the Constitutional right to pray in public 
schools. In America, we do not punish prayer. We do not tear 
down crosses. We do not ban symbols of faith. We do not muzzle 
preachers and pastors. In America, we celebrate faith. We 
cherish religion. We lift our voices in prayer, and we raise 
our sights to the Glory of God!
    Just as we believe in the First Amendment, we also believe 
in another Constitutional right that is under siege all across 
our country. So long as I am President I will always protect 
your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
    In reaffirming our heritage as a free Nation, we must 
remember that America has always been a frontier nation. Now we 
must embrace the next frontier, America's manifest destiny in 
the stars. I am asking the Congress to fully fund the Artemis 
program to ensure that the next man and the first woman on the 
moon will be American astronauts--using this as a launching pad 
to ensure that America is the first nation to plant its flag on 
    My Administration is also strongly defending our national 
security and combating radical Islamic terrorism. Last week, I 
announced a groundbreaking plan for peace between Israel and 
the Palestinians. Recognizing that all past attempts have 
failed, we must be determined and creative in order to 
stabilize the region and give millions of young people the 
change to realize a better future.
    Three years ago, the barbarians of ISIS held over 20,000 
square miles of territory in Iraq and Syria. Today, the ISIS 
territorial caliphate has been 100 percent destroyed, and the 
founder and leader of ISIS--the bloodthirsty killer Al-
Baghdadi--is dead!
    We are joined this evening by Carl and Marsha Mueller. 
After graduating from college, their beautiful daughter Kayla 
became a humanitarian aid worker. Kayla once wrote, ``Some 
people find God in church. Some people find God in nature. Some 
people find God in love; I find God in suffering. I've known 
for some time what my life's work is, using my hands as tools 
to relieve suffering.'' In 2013, while caring for suffering 
civilians in Syria, Kayla was kidnapped, tortured, and enslaved 
by ISIS, and kept as a prisoner of Al-Baghdadi himself. After 
more than 500 horrifying days of captivity, Al-Baghdadi 
murdered young Kayla. She was just 26 years old.
    On the night that United States Special Forces Operators 
ended Al-Baghdadi's miserable life, the Chairman of the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, received a call in the 
Situation Room. He was told that the brave men of the elite 
Special Forces team, that so perfectly carried out the 
operation, had given their mission a name--``Task Force 8-14.'' 
It was a reference to a special day: August 14th--Kayla's 
birthday. Carl and Marsha, America's warriors never forgot 
Kayla--and neither will we.
    Every day, America's men and women in uniform demonstrate 
the infinite depths of love that dwells in the human heart.
    One of these American heroes was Army Staff Sergeant 
Christopher Hake. On his second deployment to Iraq in 2008, 
Sergeant Hake wrote a letter to his 1-year-old son, Gage: ``I 
will be with you again,'' he wrote to Gage. ``I will teach you 
to ride your first bike, build your first sand box, watch you 
play sports and see you have kids also. I love you son, take 
care of your mother. I am always with you. Dad.'' On Easter 
Sunday of 2008, Chris was out on patrol in Baghdad when his 
Bradley Fighting Vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. That 
night, he made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Sergeant 
Hake now rests in eternal glory in Arlington, and his wife 
Kelli is in the gallery tonight, joined by their son, who is 
now 13 years old. To Kelli and Gage: Chris will live in our 
hearts forever.
    The terrorist responsible for killing Sergeant Hake was 
Qasem Soleimani, who provided the deadly roadside bomb that 
took Chris's life. Soleimani was the Iranian Regime's most 
ruthless butcher, a monster who murdered or wounded thousands 
of American service members in Iraq. As the world's top 
terrorist, Soleimani orchestrated the deaths of countless men, 
women, and children. He directed the December assault on United 
States Forces in Iraq, and was actively planning new attacks. 
That is why, last month, at my direction, the United States 
Military executed a flawless precision strike that killed 
Soleimani and terminated his evil reign of terror forever.
    Our message to the terrorists is clear: You will never 
escape American justice. If you attack our citizens, you 
forfeit your life!
    In recent months, we have seen proud Iranians raise their 
voices against their oppressive rulers. The Iranian regime must 
abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons, stop spreading terror, 
death, and destruction, and start working for the good of its 
own people. Because of our powerful sanctions, the Iranian 
economy is doing very poorly. We can help them make it very 
good in a short period of time, but perhaps they are too proud 
or too foolish to ask for that help. We are here. Let's see 
which road they choose. It is totally up to them.
    As we defend American lives, we are working to end 
America's wars in the Middle East.
    In Afghanistan, the determination and valor of our 
warfighters has allowed us to make tremendous progress, and 
peace talks are underway. I am not looking to kill hundreds of 
thousands of people in Afghanistan, many of them innocent. It 
is also not our function to serve other nations as a law 
enforcement agency. These are warfighters, the best in the 
world, and they either want to fight to win or not fight at 
all. We are working to finally end America's longest war and 
bring our troops back home!
    War places a heavy burden on our Nation's extraordinary 
military families, especially spouses like Amy Williams from 
Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and her 2 children--6-year-old 
Elliana and 3-year-old Rowan. Amy works full time, and 
volunteers countless hours helping other military families. For 
the past 7 months, she has done it all while her husband, 
Sergeant First Class Townsend Williams, is in Afghanistan on 
his fourth deployment to the Middle East. Amy's kids have not 
seen their father's face in many months. Amy, your family's 
sacrifice makes it possible for all of our families to live in 
safety and peace--we thank you.
    As the world bears witness tonight, America is a land of 
heroes. This is the place where greatness is born, where 
destinies are forged, and where legends come to life. This is 
the home of Thomas Edison and Teddy Roosevelt, of many great 
Generals, including Washington, Pershing, Patton, and 
MacArthur. This is the home of Abraham Lincoln, Frederick 
Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman, the Wright Brothers, 
Neil Armstrong, and so many more. This is the country where 
children learn names like Wyatt Earp, Davy Crockett, and Annie 
Oakley. This is the place where the pilgrims landed at Plymouth 
and where Texas patriots made their last stand at the Alamo.
    The American Nation was carved out of the vast frontier by 
the toughest, strongest, fiercest, and most determined men and 
women ever to walk the face of the Earth. Our ancestors braved 
the unknown; tamed the wilderness; settled the Wild West; 
lifted millions from poverty, disease, and hunger; vanquished 
tyranny and fascism; ushered the world to new heights of 
science and medicine; laid down the railroads, dug out canals, 
raised up the skyscrapers--and, ladies and gentlemen, our 
ancestors built the most exceptional Republic ever to exist in 
all of human history. And we are making it greater than ever 
    This is our glorious and magnificent inheritance.
    We are Americans. We are the pioneers. We are the 
pathfinders. We settled the new world, we built the modern 
world, and we changed history forever by embracing the eternal 
truth that everyone is made equal by the hand of Almighty God.
    America is the place where anything can happen! America is 
the place where anyone can rise. And here, on this land, on 
this soil, on this continent, the most incredible dreams come 
    This Nation is our canvas, and this country is our 
masterpiece. We look at tomorrow and see unlimited frontiers 
just waiting to be explored. Our brightest discoveries are not 
yet known. Our most thrilling stories are not yet told. Our 
grandest journeys are not yet made. The American Age, the 
American Epic, the American Adventure, has only just begun!
    Our spirit is still young; the sun is still rising; God's 
grace is still shining; and my fellow Americans, the best is 
yet to come!
    Thank you. God Bless You. God Bless America.

                                                   Donald J. Trump.
    The White House, February 4, 2020.