WASHINGTON (CBS SF) — Transcript of the weekly address to the nation by President Donald J. Trump, released Friday, Sept. 29, 2017.
My Fellow Americans,
All American hearts are united with the people of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands who have faced terrible devastation in the wake of two catastrophic hurricanes. We are working night and day in cooperation with territorial and local authorities to assist those in need, to help save and sustain lives, and to begin the long recovery and rebuilding effort. Our commitment to those affected is this: We are with you, we will stay with you, and we will come back stronger than ever. We are sending tremendous amounts of supplies, tremendous amounts of food and water, and we are sending great people to help. I know that it’s been devastating. I know your police force and everything else has been absolutely hurt, but we’re sending people to help, and it’s getting better on a daily basis.
This week, I traveled to Indiana to announce historic tax reform for the American people. It is based on four key ideas.
First, we will cut taxes on all Working American Families. People will pay a lot less money. Single individuals will not be taxed on the first $12,000 of income earned. And a married couple will pay zero taxes on their first $24,000 of income. After that, taxable income will be subject to just three tax rates—12%, 25% and 35%, it use to be 7%. We will also expand the child tax credit, eliminate the credit’s marriage penalty, and provide a new $500 tax credit for elder-care and other adult dependents. This is the real and lasting tax relief that everyday Americans badly need and truly deserve. This is what working Americans have been after.
Second, our framework will make the tax code simple, fair, and easy to understand. Under our plan, the vast majority of families will be able to file their taxes on a single sheet of paper.
As part of simplification, we are also getting rid of taxes that threaten to put family businesses and American farmers out of business. Julie Ellingson is a 4th generation cattle rancher in Bismarck, North Dakota. Julie and her family’s legacy of hard work should not be taken away when she dies —we will eliminate the Death Tax and keep her American Dream alive. Most importantly, her family will long remember, and they’ll be working hard for many, many years on their farm.
Third, we are going to restore America’s competitive edge so that American businesses and workers can win again. We will cut the corporate rate below the average of our foreign competitors—and we will reduce the top marginal income tax rate on small and mid-sized businesses to the lowest in more than 80 years. It’s so important because our companies are leaving our shores and when they leave, they let go of the workers. And then they make their product and they send it back into our country. We don’t tax them, we don’t do anything. Those days are over. We now have a competitive tax where our companies won’t be leaving. Believe me, it won’t be happening like it has, it’s going to be a big difference.
Finally, our framework encourages corporations to bring back trillions of dollars in wealth parked overseas, and stops punishing companies for keeping their headquarters in the United States. That’s actually what’s happening. Companies that stay in our country are being punished by our tax code. This will switch our current offshoring model—a tax system that drives jobs to other countries—to a new American Model. Under this plan, we want our companies to hire and grow in America, to raise wages for American workers, and to help rebuild American cities and towns.
This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to pass tax reform and to restore our jobs, our wealth, and our great American Dreams. We will be able to dream again and those dreams will be met.
Now it is time — finally — for Congress to deliver. The problem we have is the Democrats don’t want to cut your taxes, they want to actually raise your taxes, and raise them very substantially. We can’t afford to do that as a country, that’s why our jobs are leaving, that’s why you don’t have enough left in your paycheck. We want to cut taxes and it’s going to be the biggest tax cut in the history of our country.
Thank you. God Bless You. And God Bless America.
DEMOCRATIC PARTY RESPONSE:
Delivered by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada) released Friday, Sept. 29, 2017.
Hello, my name is Catherine Cortez Masto, I’m a senator from the great state of Nevada.
In the month of September, Americans in the Caribbean and along the southern United States experienced three hurricanes of the century — Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
These historically destructive hurricanes flooded homes, closed businesses, and turned the lives of millions of Americans upside down. So many heroes — including brave DREAMers — answered the call to rescue those that were trapped and provide shelter and comfort to the displaced.
I am proud of the efforts of all of our brave first responders — many gave their lives for their communities. I also want to take a moment to thank the many Nevadan’s participating in the relief efforts, my best wishes go with the Nevada Army National Guard members from Reno and Carson City, who will soon be headed to Puerto Rico. Your actions make us all proud to be Americans.
This pride is tempered by the recognition that millions are still waiting for help. I share in the frustrations of Americans in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who feel forgotten and neglected. I encourage Americans to volunteer and donate to legitimate organizations helping in relief efforts. Every dollar and every volunteer hour spent brings hope and relief to the people of Puerto Rico and all those impacted by these tragic hurricanes.
Right now, 3.5 million Americans are without power, food, and clean drinking water in Puerto Rico. Right now, hospitals on the island are unable to serve patients because backup generators do not have fuel. The elderly do not have their medicine. Puerto Ricans are fleeing flooded towns and cities with polluted waters, some with dead bodies floating in them, and looking to mountain streams to find safe drinking water. This is a public health crisis and must be treated like one.
Senate Democrats are standing with the people of Puerto Rico. Republicans in Congress must act now to deliver on the Trump administration’s request for additional funding for search, rescue, and recovery operations.
We also call on the President to stand with the people of Puerto Rico, focus on saving lives, and tweet less about Wall Street creditors targeting the island. FEMA must waive any requirement forcing the people of Puerto Rico to contribute additional funds to their own relief effort in the middle of a debt crisis.
We wouldn’t do this to Florida, Texas, or any of the other 50 states. It’s inhumane and irresponsible to keep an open tab on saving lives.
I commend the efforts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and of Customs and Border Protection in delivering water and providing rescue workers to assist in relief efforts.
The impact of these hurricanes will be felt for decades. We must render aid and protect all survivors – documented and undocumented.
That is why I joined my colleagues to call on President Trump to extend the arbitrary October 5th deadline for DREAMers to request extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status. DREAMers are fellow survivors of these terrible storms.
And to the people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, I want you to know that you deserve and will have the full support of our government as you recover and rebuild.
Thank you and we stand with you.