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By Chris Opfer
President Donald Trump in his first State of the Union address touted tax cuts, regulation shredding, and a new infrastructure spending proposal as keys to job creation and wage growth. He also asked Congress to make it easier to give some federal workers a pink slip.
“Tonight I call on Congress to empower every Cabinet secretary with the authority to reward good workers and to remove federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people,” Trump told a joint session of Congress.
The president’s comments follow previous pledges to trim the federal bureaucracy. Sources told Bloomberg Law in the days leading up to the State of the Union address that Trump is likely to offer a more specific plan for shrinking the government as part of his upcoming budget request.
Trump also urged Congress to approve as much as $1.5 trillion in infrastructure spending, a proposal that echoes similar, unsuccessful spending requests from his predecessor. The president said new highway, bridge, and rail construction projects funded by public-private partnerships would create jobs and enhance the country’s “crumbling” infrastructure system.
“We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land,” Trump said. “And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit.”
Meanwhile, Trump officially rolled out an immigration proposal designed to strike a deal with Congress to avoid a looming government shutdown. He said he wants to offer a path to citizenship to for some 1.8 million undocumented workers, while also building a wall on the southern border, and shifting to a merit-based immigration system.
The continuing resolution currently funding the federal government is set to expire Feb. 8.
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