President Trump will give his first address tonight before a joint session of Congress and Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is outlining his expectations from the new chief executive.
Grassley says Trump’s already demonstrated he can carry out a long list of his campaign vows without the need for Congressional intervention or action.
“He probably has done more than any president in the first five weeks in office to carry out as many promises as he can through his own signature,” Grassley says. “I think he ought to be applauded for that and I bet he’s going to take some credit for that.”
He also expects Trump to discuss, in Grassley’s words, “the disaster of Obamacare” and his ideas to replace it.
“I think that we’re going to find him laying out a fairly optimistic vision for the country and how his thoughts affect that,” Grassley says. “You heard him say a lot of things that Republicans don’t concentrate on, dealing with the things of the inner cities. I think he ought to be complemented for that and I think he’s going to follow up on that.”
Grassley says he hopes Trump will champion bipartisanship and cooperation because he says many of the things Trump wants to accomplish will have to be done by working with Congress, not acting on his own.
“I would expect him to also talk about what he considers a bold agenda, continue more tax and regulatory reform,” Grassley says. “I’m sure he’s going to do something that his daughter talked about in the campaign, doing more for women in the workplace.”
The just-released White House budget outline calls for a $54-billion increase in defense spending, a 10% boost. That’s a tall order as other federal agencies are seeing funding slashed, but Grassley says it’s possible.
“I don’t know about the exact figure but I think with what has happened in Iraq and Syria…we need to spend more money,” Grassley says. “I haven’t looked at the exact figure of 54-billion, but you’ll find Chuck Grassley spending more.”
Tonight’s speech is not a State of the Union address. That will come next year after Trump’s had a full year in office.