Donald Trump set to make first speech to Congress

US president expected to focus on immigration, economic opportunity and national security as he lays out his vision.

    Trump's approval rating stands at 44 percent, according to a new poll [EPA]
    Trump's approval rating stands at 44 percent, according to a new poll [EPA]


    • Replace the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare law known as Obamacare. It provides coverage to millions of uninsured Americans. 
    • Increase military spending by $54bn, funded by other budget cuts, including of foreign aid.
    • Target the Environmental Protection Agency, including by reviewing an Obama-era rule that limits pollution in major rivers, streams and wetlands.

    US President Donald Trump is set to address a joint session of Congress for the first time, in a televised speech laying out his agenda for the next year.

    Aides said Tuesday's speech, scheduled to begin at 9:10pm EST (02:10 GMT), will focus on immigration, tax reform and national security.

    "All I can do is speak from the heart and say what I want to do," Trump said during an interview broadcast on Fox & Friends.


    Since taking office on January 20, Trump has signed at least 23 executive actions and signed five bills into law.

    Going forward, he will need support from Congress, dominated by his Republican Party.

    "Much of his campaign promises revolve around working with Congress, whether it comes to reforming the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, or even tax reform, job creation, infrastructure," Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett, reporting from Washington DC, said.

    "All of that is going to involve the work of Congress. That's where he has a challenge. There are some already in his own party who are sceptical, Republicans who have cast doubts on his proposed budget cuts, and Democrats are obviously very hostile to what he has put forward so far."

    READ MORE: The seven biggest threats to Donald Trump's presidency

    Trump's approval rating before the speech stands at 44 percent - a record low for a newly inaugurated president, according to a poll from NBC News and The Wall Street Journal.

    In the poll, conducted on February 18-22, 48 percent of Americans said they disapproved of Trump's performance as president and 32 percent said that his first month in office demonstrated that he is not up to the job.

    Aaron Kall, a political commentator of the University of Michigan, said Trump still has "a very loyal base of support, somewhere between 35 and 40 percent of the country", who think he is doing a great job because he is fulfilling a lot of the campaign promises he was elected on.

    "He said he was going to bring change, to be an outsider, not a typical politician. But he needs Congressional support and that's a bit tougher," Kall told Al Jazeera.

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in the rain outside the White House hours before the speech to denounce his stance on immigration and other issues.

    Democrats have invited immigrants and foreigners to attend the address in an effort to put a face on those they say could be hurt by Trump's policies.

    Politicians typically get one guest ticket each. Among those invited are an Iraq-born doctor who discovered elevated levels of lead in the blood of many children living in Flint and a Pakistani-born doctor who delivers critical care to patients in Rhode Island.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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