Heinz History Center
2:59 P.M. EST
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Hello, Pennsylvania. (Applause.)
It is great to be back here in the Keystone State, with the men and women of a state that elected a President and elected great leaders in Congress that, just five weeks ago, enacted historic tax cuts to put America first. (Applause.)
And it really is great to be here with so many great leaders from across this state. Just join me in thanking, once again, the Congressman Keith Rothfus. Thank you for standing so strong with this administration and fighting every day for a more prosperous America. (Applause.)
I’m also honored to be joined by another strong leader in the Congress of the United States, a great friend to this President and our entire administration. Join me in thanking Congressman Mike Kelly for his great leadership and his presence here today. (Applause.)
I’m also honored to be joined by a lifelong champion of American prosperity who I can promise you is fighting every day for American jobs and a more prosperous American future, our own Secretary of Commerce for the United States, Wilbur Ross. (Applause.)
And I want to thank our host today, an organization working tirelessly to promote the policies that are making a real difference in the lives of Pennsylvanians and in the life of our nation, America First Policies. Thank you so much for putting this great event together. (Applause.)
And to all of you, I bring greetings from a man who loves the Keystone State, the man the people of Pennsylvania voted to make the 45th President of the United States of America, I bring greetings from President Donald Trump. (Applause.)
And how about that speech on Tuesday night? (Applause.) I tell you what folks, I had a pretty good seat. (Laughter.) It was really inspiring. It was inspiring to hear the President give his first official State of the Union Address where he told the nation that, together, we brought our country to, in his words, a “new American moment.” And he said words I’ll never forget, that the “state of our union is strong because our people are strong.” (Applause.)
And I stand before you today — I know that our nation is growing stronger because the first year of our administration has been a year of action. It’s been a year of results. And I believe it’s been a year that will be remembered as the time when, under the President’s leadership, the American people began to make America great again. (Applause.)
Now it’s a special honor for me to be back in Western Pennsylvania, in the great city of Pittsburgh, where the people are hard workers, good neighbors, and proud Americans.
This part of Pennsylvania has always been a bellwether for America. And as the President said a couple of weeks ago, just a few miles up the Ohio River from here, communities like this one are “coming back bigger and better and stronger than ever before.” We’re having an American comeback and it’s starting right here, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Applause.)
You know, in that State of the Union Address, President Trump laid out a blueprint for American success. And it all starts with the first year of our administration. It’s been a year of promises made and promises kept.
First and foremost, we’ve been keeping our promise to the men and women of the Armed Forced of the United States, their families, and our veterans. (Applause.)
Last spring, with the support of the leaders gathered here, Congress passed and the President signed the largest increase in military spending in nearly a decade. And just over one month ago, with the strong support of these leaders in Congress, the President signed legislation that will make it possible for us to pass the largest increase in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan. (Applause.)
And today, I’ll make you a promise. Working with these great leaders in Congress, and with the leadership of our Commander-in-Chief, we’re going to rebuild our military; we’re going to restore the arsenal of democracy; and we are going to once again give our soldiers, sailors, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard the resources they deserve and to accomplish their mission and come home safe. (Applause.)
And with that renewed American strength, our administration is achieving real results on the international stage. North Korea is isolated as never before. Tuesday, in his State of the Union Address, the President focused on the grieving family of Otto Warmbier. Today, in the Oval Office, the President met with North Korean defectors who escaped that brutal regime.
And in just a few days, I’ll travel to Japan and South Korea to attend the Olympics. I’ll cheer on our athletes, but I’ll also be there to deliver a simple message: That the era of strategic patience is over. (Applause.)
As the President said today, after years of failed policies by past administrations, we’re just running out of road. As North Korea continues to test ballistic missiles and threaten the United States, we’ll make it clear that all options are on the table. And you can be confident we will continue to bring all economic and diplomatic pressure to bear until North Korea permanently abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile programs once and for all. (Applause.)
And we’ve taken the fight to terrorists in Afghanistan and all across the region. And thanks to the leadership of our Commander-in-Chief and the extraordinary courage of our armed forces, I’m pleased to report ISIS is on the run; their caliphate is crumbling; and we are on the verge of destroying ISIS at its source so it can never threaten our people, our allies, or our way of life. (Applause.)
And when it comes to keeping Americans safe here at home, we’ve been busy there too. We’re securing our borders, enforcing our laws, and this administration has been taking drug dealers and violent criminals off our streets in record numbers. And under this administration, illegal crossings at our southern border are down by nearly 50 percent. (Applause.)
And we’ve been keeping our promise to uphold the rule of law. As the President said on Tuesday night, we are, in his words, “appointing judges who will interpret the Constitution as written,” and uphold the God-given liberties enshrined there — like the newest justice on the Supreme Court of the United States, Justice Neil Gorsuch. (Applause.)
So we’ve been busy putting the security of the American people first, upholding our most cherished liberties. But on the subject of prosperity, we’ve been working every day to roll back the heavy hand of government. This President has actually signed more laws rolling back federal red tape than any President in American history. (Applause.)
To fuel a revival of American industry, we’ve been unleashing American energy. We approved the Keystone and Dakota pipelines. We repealed the so-called Clean Power Plan. And it’s official folks — under President Donald Trump, the war on coal is over. (Applause.)
We’re only one year into this administration, and already the results are nothing short of remarkable. Optimism is soaring from the shop floor to the shale field. American companies are growing again. Businesses large and small have created more than 2.4 million new jobs since Election Day 2016. And here in the Pittsburgh area, unemployment has dropped by nearly 25 percent. And unemployment hasn’t been this low in America for 17 years. (Applause.)
This President’s leadership has ignited an economic revival right here in the Keystone State and across the heartland of America. You know, if you haven’t noticed it yet, the American people elected a builder to be President of the United States — (applause) — and already, we’re making remarkable progress to rebuilding the American economy.
And this administration is supporting America’s auto industry. We’re rebuilding American manufacturing and we’re doing it with American steel. (Applause.)
It’s amazing to think, after thousands of manufacturing jobs were lost in 2016 -– last year, under the leadership of President Trump, manufacturing in America created nearly 200,000 new jobs. (Applause.)
Folks, this is just a story of America’s comeback. But as the President likes to say, at this White House, that’s just what we call a good start. (Laughter.)
The best is yet to come; I believe it with all my heart. Because five weeks ago, with the strong support of Pennsylvania’s leaders with us here today, on Capitol Hill, President Trump signed into law tax cuts to put America first. (Applause.)
As our President said last Tuesday night, in his words, “Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses.”
We cut taxes for working families, and as a result, the typical family of four will keep about $2,900 more of their own hard-earned money. That’s going to make a big difference here in Pennsylvania, leaving an extra $11 billion in the pockets of Pennsylvanian families.
We also slashed taxes on American businesses and their employees, so that American companies can create American jobs and raise American wages right here in the good old USA. (Applause.)
And we didn’t just cut taxes, we also gave the American people the relief they need from the disaster of Obamacare when we repealed the individual mandate on every American (Applause.)
Thanks to those tax cuts and our non-stop efforts to get government out of your way, businesses in the Steel City and across Pennsylvania are growing like never before.
Two weeks ago, President Trump was here. He visited one of those businesses — H&K Equipment –- just a few miles up the Ohio. It’s a great American company, employing about 200 people in eight facilities across two states.
And thanks to the President’s tax cuts, H&K announced that they’re investing in their business at a rate 50 percent higher than last year. And, as the President said when he was there, this year, they’ll make a $2.7 million investment that will benefit their workers, benefit their customers, and benefit the communities that they call home. (Applause.)
But H&K is hardly alone. Every day brings similar stories from across America. In just the past month, businesses large and small have already committed to invest another $425 billion in enterprises across this country to expand and innovate, create new jobs, and raise wages for their workers.
Thanks to these investments, we believe the typical American worker is going to see their take home pay rise by about $4,000 a year. And we’re already well on our way because, every day, more and more Americans are learning that they’re getting a pay raise — the pay raise they’ve been working so hard for all these years.
In fact, just this morning — if you haven’t heard about it yet — the latest jobs report came out. And it showed that in the past year, paychecks across America rose at the fastest pace in eight years. (Applause.)
And here in the Keystone State, in the past month alone, thanks to our tax cut, more than 3 million American workers have gotten a bonus –- including more than 150,000 people in Pennsylvania. And more than 50,000 Pennsylvanians have already received a pay raise. Those are real results, and they’re results that we can celebrate. (Applause.)
Now, let me just take a moment to thank the leaders in Congress who helped make all this possible, who voted for this tax relief — including these two leaders who are with us here and all of their Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives. And let me also take a moment just to say thank you to Senator Pat Toomey for standing up and fighting for taxpayers in Pennsylvania. (Applause.)
These leaders stood strong with President Trump and they’ve put Pennsylvania first. They voted to give Pennsylvania workers a raise. But you know, the same can’t be said of your other senator.
AUDIENCE: Boo —
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: You know, I think people of the Keystone State deserve to know that Senator Bob Casey voted against cutting your taxes.
Bob Casey voted against letting working families and job creators across the Keystone State keep more of your hard-earned money.
Bob Casey voted against giving you your first $24,000 in income tax-free, and he voted against expanding the Child Tax Credit for working families in the Keystone State.
In fact, Bob Casey voted against tax cuts that make it possible for businesses to hire more, pay better, and compete with companies all over the world.
And for that matter, He also voted against 12 of President Trump’s judicial nominees, men and women who will uphold the Constitution of the United States as written, including that Supreme Court Justice I mentioned before.
And Bob Casey even voted against giving the Keystone State the power to defund Planned Parenthood.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think the people of Pennsylvania deserve better. (Applause.)
I’ll make you a promise. President Donald Trump and I are going to keep fighting for all of you, for all the hardworking people of Pennsylvania. And we’ll always put your interests first.
As the President told the nation on Tuesday night, our administration has a full agenda for the year ahead, as well. Working with these leaders in Congress, we’re going to pass a historic infrastructure bill, and we’re going to rebuild the roads and bridges and highways and byways of America. (Applause.)
We’re going to fix a broken immigration system with, as the President said, “policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families.” And we’re going to build a wall on the southern border of the United States. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall!
THE VICE PRESIDENT: And I promise you, we’re going to continue to fight for the kind of trade deals that are free and fair and reciprocal and put American jobs and American workers first. (Applause.)
And when it comes to an issue that hits too close to home for far too many families in this state and around the country, I want to promise you, we’re going to work this year to continue to do everything in our power to confront the opioid crisis that’s ravaging communities across this state and nation.
As President Trump said on Tuesday night, the long struggle will difficult, but we will, as Americans always do, prevail. And we will do whatever it takes to make this the generation that ends the opiate epidemic in America. (Applause.)
Folks, President Trump and I are going to keep making good on the promises that we made to the people of Pennsylvania. But the most important work doesn’t take place in the marbled halls in Washington, D.C. The President and I know that. It’s like he said in that State of the Union Address, we’re making America great again because the American people are making America great again.
This is a President who knows that the American people are the beating heart of this nation. And every day, you make the biggest difference in this country.
You see it around kitchen tables, as a dad helps his daughter with her homework.
You see it in America’s truck drivers and coal miners after pulling a double shift, whose faces are long but they still show the hard-earned pride of someone who works every day to power a great nation.
You see it in neighbors helping neighbors when tragedy strikes. For as we’ve seen too often in just the past year, with hurricane besetting our coastal region to seeing wildfires at record levels in California — for Americans, oftentimes in our darkest hour, the light of the American spirit shines most brightly. Ordinary Americans became extraordinary heroes, and the people of this nation are always inspired by the character and generosity of our people. (Applause.)
So today, I thank you all for being here. I thank you for gathering for this event at the end of a busy week. And I want to encourage all of you with the words that we’ve made great progress. But as the Old Book says, don’t grow weary in doing good, because we’ve got more work to do. (Applause.)
Don’t grow weary. Keep making a difference. Keep standing with our President to restore the promise of America in our time. In a word, have faith.
Have faith in those who represent you at the state and federal level that are out there standing with the President to advance his agenda.
Have faith in that strong leader that Pennsylvania put in the Oval Office of the United States.
And I’ll also say, as the people of Pennsylvania have done throughout your long and storied history, just continue to have faith in Him who has ever guided and guarded the people of this one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all — that he will yet bless America. (Applause.)
Because I truly believe that if we keep faith, this is just the beginning. And we will make America prosperous again. We will make America safe again. And to borrow a phrase — (laughter) — we will make America great again. (Applause.)
Thank you very much. Thank you, Pennsylvania. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
3:19 P.M. EST