Trump wants to capitalise on positive acceptance of speech

New York, March 2 (IANS) US President Donald Trump wants to take advantage of the good reception his address to Congress received to advance his legislative agenda, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Wednesday.

In a meeting with journalists off-camera, Spicer said that it was a “great night” for the president, whose first speech before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday evening was generally well-received, Efe news reported.

Spicer added that Trump is now trying to take advantage of the momentum generated by the speech to start working on achieving his legislative goals in meetings with advisers and a luncheon at the White House with Republican Senate and House leaders.

In his speech, the president offered few details about his policies, or how they will be paid for, but he did give Congress some guidelines for eliminating and replacing Obamacare, as former President Barack Obama’s health care reform — long a target for Republican lawmakers — is known.

He also called for funding to help rebuild US infrastructure and urged both Democrats and Republicans to compromise to achieve immigration reform.

Despite the lack of details on how he intends to move forward on his agenda, Trump struck a much more presidential tone in his address than on other occasions, and observers and analysts said that it was considerably more conciliatory and optimistic than his dark and apocalyptic speech on Inauguration Day.

Republicans, who had been concerned by the image of chaos the new administration had been projecting during the first five weeks since Jan. 20, celebrated the mogul’s speech effusively.

According to a survey conducted by CNN among its TV viewers, 78 percent of those who saw the speech felt it was positive — with 57 percent saying “very positive” and 21 percent saying “somewhat positive — while just 21 percent viewed it as negative.

Spicer also said that Trump would not sign on Wednesday the revised executive order replacing his controversial temporary ban on US entry for refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations, although several top government officials had earlier said that he would.

Spicer said he did not want to speculate on whether Trump would sign the revised order before the week is out.

–IANS

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