Marriott Downtown Hotel
Kansas City, Missouri
12:53 P.M. CDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, hello, Missouri! And from the other side of the state line, hello, Kansas! (Applause.)
It is great to be back in Kansas City with men and women who elected a Congress and a President —
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
THE VICE PRESIDENT: It really is great to be back. (Laughter.) Great to be back in Kansas City, a city where the men and women elected a Congress and a President who enacted historic tax cuts that are putting America first and putting Americans back to work. (Applause.) True.
And on my way here, just driving across town, I got a phone call from overseas. So let me start out by bringing greetings from a man who made those tax cuts possible, the leader that Missouri and Kansas voted overwhelmingly to make the 45th President of the United States. I bring greetings from President Donald Trump! (Applause.)
You know, President Trump is a man of his word and he’s a man of action. And on Monday night, our President delivered once again on his promise to appoint judges who will faithfully interpret the Constitution of the United States of America as written — (applause) — when he nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to become the next justice of the Supreme Court. It was truly historic. And I’ll talk more about that in a moment.
You know, it’s great to be here with so many great American patriots to talk about the difference that this administration has been able to make with strong partners on Capitol Hill and with all of your support and your prayers.
And let me start by thanking a few extraordinary leaders from both Missouri and Kansas who are here with us today.
First and foremost, I want to thank the remarkable Attorney General of Missouri, Josh Hawley. (Applause.) Thank you for those kind words. Thank you for being such a great partner. Here in the Show Me State, will you all just show me how much Missouri appreciates the integrity, the principle, and the vision of Josh Hawley, your great Attorney General? (Applause.)
We’re also honored to be joined by another leader in the United States Congress who I can tell you has been standing shoulder-to-shoulder with this President and our administration to advance an agenda that’s putting America first. She’s wrapping up a very distinguished career in the Congress of the United States. So let’s give her an extra round of applause. Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, thank you for your service to Kansas and to America. (Applause.) Thank you, Lynn.
A couple other leaders who I also heard are with us here today who hail from the other side of the state line: Secretary of State Kris Kobach and the 47th Governor of Kansas, Governor Jeff Colyer! (Applause.) Thank you both.
And finally, let me just say thanks to our host today, an organization that’s been promoting the policies that are making a real difference in the lives of people across Missouri and Kansas and every other state in the country. How about a round of applause for America First Policies for bringing us all together today. (Applause.)
You know, I came here today, first and foremost, just to say thanks. Thanks to each and every one of you for all of the support, not just in the election year in 2016, but every day since — the way you’ve expressed your support for this administration and stood strong with this President and all of our allies on Capitol Hill.
You know, next week marks one-and-a-half years since the President and I took office. Because of your support — (applause) — because of your support and the partnership of conservative leaders in the Congress of the United States, and because of the relentless leadership of President Donald Trump, I think there’s only one way you can sum up the last year and a half: It’s been a year and a half of action; a year and a half of results. It’s been a year and a half of promises made and promises kept. (Applause.) We’re just getting started.
I mean, think about it. Think about it. I mean, President Trump, first and foremost, promised to rebuild our military, to end the era of budget cuts to our Armed Forces. And with the strong support of conservative leaders in the Congress, as a proud father of a United States Marine, I was standing — (applause) — President Trump signed the largest increase in military spending since the days of Ronald Reagan. It’s promises made and promises kept. (Applause.)
This President pledged to support those that have worn the uniform of the United States. Most of you who are sitting would — those of you that have served in our Armed Forces, if you’re able, would you mind just standing and allowing us to have the opportunity — (applause) — to show our appreciation for all you’ve done to serve this country? (Applause.) Thank you for your service.
Thanks to the President’s leadership and the strong support of leaders in Congress, I’m pleased to report the VA once again has the resources to end its backlog once and for all. And we are now giving veterans choice and access to real-time healthcare that they earned in the uniform of the United States. (Applause.)
When it comes to security in the homeland, this President promised to stand with the men and women who serve on the Thin Blue Line of law enforcement. And we have every day. (Applause.) I promise you, we’re going to continue to give the men and women of law enforcement at every level the resources and the respect they deserve.
And let me be clear on this point: The men and women of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency are dedicated public servants who, every day, remove dangerous illegal immigrants from our streets and rescue children who are exploited by human traffickers. I promise you, under this administration, we will never abolish ICE! (Applause.)
President Trump promised to enforce our laws and secure our borders. He’s already signed the biggest funding increase for border security in nearly a decade, and he secured funding to begin building that wall on the southern Border. (Applause.) $1.6 billion — we’ve got it started. But when it comes to the wall, we’re going to build it all. Don’t you doubt it for a minute. (Applause.)
And as Attorney General Hawley just said so eloquently, to uphold the rule of law, our President promised to appoint strong conservatives to the federal courts at every level. And last year, President Trump set a record for the most court of appeals judges confirmed in a single year of an administration in American history. (Applause.) And they’re all conservative men and women. And that doesn’t even count Justice Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court of the United States. (Applause.)
And we all saw that big announcement I mentioned before about Judge Brett Kavanaugh. You know, the President said it well: Judge Kavanaugh is a man of “impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications, and a proven commitment.” In a record of more than 300 cases, Judge Kavanaugh in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals has a record — a record of commitment to limited government, to federalism, to the Second Amendment, and to religious liberty.
Judge Kavanaugh is a principled jurist who will interpret the Constitution as written, and not legislate from the bench. (Applause.) Judge Brett Kavanaugh deserves the support of every member of the United States Senate. (Applause.)
So it’s been promises made and promises kept — about strength, about security, about the rule of law. But it’s also about jobs and opportunity. And since day one, I figure you’ve noticed this President has been keeping his promise to get this economy moving again.
In every decision we’ve made, we’ve focused on strengthening the great American economy, strengthening the balance sheet of families and our factories and our farmers.
This President promised to roll back the heavy hand of government. In fact, last year, President Trump signed more bills rolling back federal red tape than any president in American history — (applause) — in one year.
Now, some of you remember back on the campaign trail the President said, look, we’re going to repeal two federal regulations for every new federal rule put on the books. And I’m here to tell you we actually haven’t done that. (Laughter.) President Trump has actually repealed 22 federal new regulations for every new federal rule on the book. (Applause.) We have freed up American free enterprise.
Working with your conservative leaders in the Congress, we also delivered a major victory for Kansas and Missouri farmers and ranchers when we repealed that particular regulation. If you remember — the disastrous Stream Buffer rule and the Waters of the USA is gone! (Applause.) It’s about private property.
This President also promised to unleash American energy to get this economy moving again. We approved the Keystone and Dakota Pipeline. (Applause.) He rolled back the Clean Power Plan. And President Trump put America first when he withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. (Applause.)
And this President has got a special place in his heart for America’s farmers. And he promised to deliver for our farmers and ranchers and producers, just like you all deliver for us every day. First and foremost, make no mistake about it: In this Congress, we’re going to get the farm bill done. (Applause.)
We’re working tirelessly — working tirelessly with leaders in Congress, especially the great Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, to pass a multi-year farm bill that’s going to provide rural America and all of our farmers, ranchers, and producers the long-term certainty that you need in uncertain times.
And our President is going to keep fighting for trade deals that are free and fair and reciprocal — (applause) — and are a win for Americans in the city and on the farm. (Applause.)
And I want to tell my friends out here all across the heartland of America: We’ve taken decisive action to lower trade barriers for American agricultural exports already.
Thanks to the President’s leadership, we’ve forged new deals to expand American rough rice exports to Colombia, to send American beef to Brazil. In fact, we’re sending American beef to China for the first time in 13 years — (applause) — to open markets for American pork in Argentina, and we’re opening markets to American poultry in South Korea. And I’m here to tell you we are making significant progress on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement — (applause) — in a way that puts America first.
Under President Trump, we’re standing up to countries that have for too long benefitted by access to the American market without giving reciprocal access to their markets. Countries — in particular, like China — have been informed that the days of disproportionate and imbalanced trade relationships with the United States are coming to an end. (Applause.)
The truth of the matter is, the President has taken a strong stand with China and with other trading partners around the world who have, frankly, taken advantage of imbalanced trade deals and also our valuable technologies.
As we saw the President make clear from Europe today: This administration will never stop fighting for access for American goods around the world. And we will always fight for American farmers to be able to export what we grow and raise around the planet. (Applause.)
I don’t know if you saw it — the President actually tweeted today from Brussels. (Laughter.) He actually said he’s over at a NATO meeting, you might have heard, but his words were — he said, “I’m always thinking about our farmers.” And he was. (Applause.)
The President said this morning, soybeans fell 50 percent from 2012 to our election. Farmers have been doing poorly for 15 years. He wrote, “Other countries’ trade barriers and tariffs have been destroying their businesses.”
But as the President promised, we’re going to “open things up, better than ever before.” And we’re going to keep fighting for a level playing field for our farmers. And as the President said, America will win that fight — (applause) — and so will American farmers. Don’t doubt it.
So we’ve made incredible progress — incredible progress in this economy. But of course, what brings us all here today is that one big promise the President made that he kept right before Christmas. This President promised to cut taxes across the board for working families, businesses, family farmers. And right before Christmas, with the support of the conservative leaders from Missouri and Kansas, President Trump signed the largest tax cuts and tax reform in American history. That’s promises made and promises kept. (Applause.)
We cut taxes for working families. The typical family of four in Kansas and Missouri, we estimate, is going to save about $2,200 a year on your taxes.
We cut taxes for businesses large and small so that businesses in Missouri and Kansas can compete and win against businesses anywhere in the world and create jobs right here in the USA. (Applause.)
And not only did we cut taxes on individuals and businesses, but if you didn’t notice it, we also cut out the cornerstone of Obamacare. The individual mandate tax is gone. (Applause.)
We also gave America’s farmers historic tax relief, eliminating the death tax for nearly every American farmer, so Missouri and families can stay on the farm and keep the farm in the family. (Applause.)
In fact — and this doesn’t get as much notice, but it’s a big deal on the farm where you’ve got the big input costs being in production agriculture — we made it easier for farmers across Missouri and Kansas to be able to create jobs and prosper by allowing them to immediately deduct 100 percent of the costs of new equipment so they can expand operations and grow their enterprise. (Applause.)
And when you add up all these tax cuts, the typical farm household in America is going to save about $4,000 on their taxes every year. (Applause.) It’s really amazing.
And the results have been amazing. When you look at the impact these tax cuts have had on our economy — this economy and the deregulation — the commitment to American energy has resulted in an America coming rolling back.
Since Election Day 2016, businesses large and small have created nearly 3.7 [million] new, good-paying jobs, including 61,600 jobs in Missouri and Kansas alone. (Applause.)
Since Inauguration Day, the unemployment rate in Kansas City has dropped by 20 percent. (Applause.) And I got to tell you, the President and I truly believe that the American Dream should be available for every American, regardless of race or creed or background. And I couldn’t be more proud, and neither could the President, that we have set historic records in low unemployment for Hispanic Americans and African Americans all across the country. The American Dream is working for everybody. (Applause.)
Today, I was just told walking in that the number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits is actually at a 44-year low. (Applause.) Now, none of this happened by accident. It’s a result of leadership. It’s a result of a President and partners in the Congress that have been willing to stand with us to put commonsense American principles of jobs and growth into practice.
I mean, we’re in the middle of a great American comeback because you elected a President and elected majorities in the Congress that have been delivering for the heartland of America and delivering for our economy.
And since our President signed these tax cuts into law, more than 6 million Americans have already received bonuses and pay raises and bigger benefits. In fact, I heard that over 66,000 workers in Missouri and Kansas have already received a pay raise or a bonus. (Applause.) That’s real results that impact families. Like when Kansas City’s own Hostess gave its workers a 750-dollar cash bonus after the President’s tax cut. Five-hundred dollars in extra contributions toward their retirement, and they even gave them free snacks for a year. Let’s hear it for Hostess, everybody. (Applause.) Pay raise! Retirement!
And the truth is, we’re just getting started. Because these tax cuts are going to keep spurring more growth. Working families in Missouri and Kansas are going to expect, we believe, to see their salaries increase by nearly $4,000 a year in the years ahead when all these tax cuts take effect.
Now, you talk about these bonuses, you talk about people the end of last year. You heard about how many companies around the country were passing out — more than 5 million Americans got more — like $1,000 bonus right before Christmas. That’s kind of great news. But you know, not everybody agrees. (Laughter.) Am I right?
I mean, you may have heard — you may have heard that the person who wants to be Speaker of the House again –-
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE VICE PRESIDENT: — Nancy Pelosi.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE VICE PRESIDENT: The Democrat leader, Nancy Pelosi, actually said — and did you hear this — she actually said that a thousand-dollar bonus for working Americans, at the end of last year, was nothing more than “crumbs.”
Now, let me remind all of you: Karen and I — you know, we come from the Joseph A. Bank’s wing of the West Wing of the White House. (Laughter.) The two-for-one sale wing. You know what I’m talking about? (Laughter.) I mean, quite honestly — (laughs) — right when our kids were really little, back in Indiana, we had a term for another $1,000 in my paycheck at the end of the year that we weren’t expecting: Christmas. Am I right? (Applause.) I mean, that’s real results.
And let me say from my heart to all of you here from across Kansas and Missouri: Any leader who says that $1,000 in the pockets of working families is crumbs is out of touch with the American people and should never lead the American Congress again. (Applause.)
I mean, in truth, I don’t know if you remember the last time liberals ran the Congress, but Lynn and I do. We were there. I mean, literally, we saw them. Instead of cutting taxes when they were in charge, they were raising taxes. Instead of increasing military spending, they were cutting military spending. They tried to pass cap-and-trade. They gave us the Obamacare nightmare. They literally built an economy that seemed to work well for those on top and leave all the rest of us behind.
And the truth is, you know, these — as a friend of mine said not long ago, these aren’t your parents’ liberals anymore. I mean, the truth is, the Democratic Party has gone farther to the left than ever before, and you need to look only at Missouri’s Senator Claire McCaskill for proof of that. It’s true.
And hardworking citizens of Missouri deserve to know that — and Kansas, for that matter — you all deserve to know that every single Democrat in Congress voted against President Trump’s tax cuts. Every single one. And standing here in Missouri, the people of this state deserve to know, when it came time to cut your taxes, Senator Claire McCaskill voted no.
When it came to letting Missouri families keep $2,200 more of your hard-earned money every year, Claire McCaskill voted no.
When it came to eliminating the death tax for virtually every family farm and cutting taxes on Missouri’s small businesses, Claire McCaskill voted no.
But you know, it’s not just the tax cuts. Time and again, Claire McCaskill has voted no on the policies that Missouri supports and that Missouri needs. She actually voted in lockstep with her party more than 80 percent of the time in the last year.
When the time came to repeal and replace Obamacare and to defund sanctuary cities, and even when the time came to empower Missouri to protect the unborn and defund Planned Parenthood, Claire McCaskill voted no every single time.
In fact, when the President’s first nominee to the Supreme Court came before the Senate last year, Claire McCaskill joined Chuck Schumer and voted no on Neil Gorsuch.
And on Monday, there were many Democrat senators who actually rejected the President’s nominee before Judge Kavanaugh was even announced. This is the kind of obstruction that the American people have had enough of from Washington, D.C. (Applause.)
I mean, the truth is, the choice before Senator Claire McCaskill is whether she’s going to stand with Chuck Schumer and her obstructionist party, or whether she’s going to stand with the people of Missouri and support the most qualified and most deserving nominee to the Supreme Court in the country.
And today, we call on Senator Claire McCaskill: Put politics aside, give our nominee a fair hearing, and vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh as the newest justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. (Applause.)
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think Missouri deserves better. (Applause.)
You know, while liberals like Claire McCaskill have been voting no, I’m glad to report to you that your Republican leaders in the Congress, in the House and Senate, have been voting yes to advance our agenda, the agenda that’s making a difference in the lives of families across Missouri and Kansas.
You already heard from Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins. As a leader with nearly 20 years of experience as a public accountant, she not only helped draft this historic tax-cut bill, but she also fights every single day for Kansas’s working families, and farmers, and small businesses. Give her one more round of applause before we leave the stage. (Applause.) Stand up, Lynn.
And I also want to tell you why he couldn’t be here with us today. I want to thank a leader from the Kansas side of Kansas City — Congressman Kevin Yoder. (Applause.) He’s a 5th generation Kansan. Kevin Yoder has been working hard — working hard to advance the President’s agenda. He’s a kid who learned the values of hard work and personal responsibility on his family’s grain and livestock farm. And he’s taken all of that — that strong character — to Capitol Hill. And Kansas is stronger and safer and more prosperous because Congressman Kevin Yoder is on the job.
And last but not least, let me also thank the three strong conservatives representing Missouri and Kansas in the United States Senate. Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas and Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri are tireless champions for working families, and veterans, and job creators in Kansas and Missouri. (Applause.)
And let me also thank — thank the senior Senator from Kansas. Senator Pat Roberts not only played a vital role in crafting our tax-cut legislation, but as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, he’s working tirelessly to pass a farm bill that’s going to give farmers and ranchers the support they need to prosper in the years ahead. (Applause.) So thank you, Senator Roberts.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think it’s time that we gave these great senators helping Missouri and Kansas in Washington, D.C. a little bit more help. (Applause.) I just know Missouri is going to send another strong conservative to Washington, D.C. this fall. (Applause.)
So thanks for being here today. I can’t thank you enough. It’s very humbling for me to be able to be with you and to have so many of you come out in the midst of a busy week. But it really does give evidence of the support that the President and I feel every single day.
You know, I get up sometimes in the morning, and I turn on that television with a stick. (Laughter.) I never quite know what’s going to be there, right? (Laughter.) But traveling across this country or reading my mail every day, we see the support. And the members of Congress that have supported this agenda see it as well.
But I want to leave you here today hopefully not just having heard a speech, but I hope you leave here with a little bit of a burden on your hearts. Because for all that we’ve done before, I can tell you all that we’ve done to make this nation more secure and more prosperous, all that we’ve done to advance the values that make this country great, that’s just what President Trump calls a good start. And we need your continued support as we continue to strengthen this country at home and abroad.
And so I want to challenge you — (applause) — thank you. Thank you. So I want to challenge you when you leave here today to let your voice be heard, exercise all of your rights in this pivotal year of 2018. Go out and tell the story of renewal to your neighbors and friends in Missouri and Kansas. I mean, tell them what they don’t hear on most of their major cable news stations every day. Tell them what we’ve been accomplishing as Americans, and about the difference it’s made.
Because, you know, I’ll always believe that all the TV shows, all the talking heads in the world, all the political advertisements are not to be compared to when someone who knows you and respects you hears from you about what’s important to them and why you think it should be important in the days ahead.
So I encourage you to get out there and talk to your friends, your neighbors over a backyard fence, at your place of work or worship. Just go out and tell them. Tell them about the real difference that the leadership you’ve been supporting has been making. Tell them the real story of American renewal.
I mean, tell them we cut their taxes, just like we said we would. (Applause.) Tell them we’re restoring American strength at home and abroad to protect their families and their freedom. And the world is respecting the United States once again. (Applause.) Go tell them — because it’s true. (Applause.)
And tell them we’re putting Washington back to work for them — not the other way around. And tell them the forgotten men and women of America are forgotten no more. Go out and tell them that, because it is the God’s honest truth. (Applause.)
And tell them I told you. (Laughter.) Say, “I ran into Mike the other day” — (laughter) — “he was in Kansas City, and, man, it took him a long time just to get through everything that President Trump has done for this country.” (Applause.) And we are just getting started.
And in these times of too much division, of widening challenges and unknowable threats abroad, if you’re of a mind, I’d encourage you that you go out and tell the story. Let your voice be heard. Be involved in every way, as citizens, that you can.
If you’re so inclined to bow the head and bend the knee, I encourage you to do that too. (Applause.) And on this one, I’m proud of the agenda we’ve been able to advance with the partners on Capitol Hill and strong supporters at the state level across Kansas and Missouri. But on this one, I’m not so much asking you to pray for an agenda, for an outcome, or a political party. You know, I rather like what President Lincoln said in a much more difficult time in the life, in the history, of this nation. He was asked once if he thought God was on the side of the Union Army. And our 16th President said, you know, “I’d rather concern myself more with whether we’re on God’s side than whether God is on our side.” (Applause.)
So pray for America. Pray for all the people of America. And when you pray — when you pray, pray with confidence, because I’ll always believe that those ancient words inscribed millennia ago speak particularly to these divided times in which we live, that if His people, who are called by His name, will humble themselves and pray, He’ll do like He’s always done through the long and storied history of this great country. As the Good Book says, he’ll hear from Heaven and He’ll heal this land, this one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice for all. (Applause.)
So thank you again for coming out today. I want to say hi to as many of you as I can. I got a plane to catch. (Laughter.) But thank you for being here. I’m very humbled. It’s the greatest honor of my life to serve as Vice President of the United States of America. I thank you for that honor and I thank you for being here. (Applause.)
But I leave here so encouraged — I leave here so encouraged that with the continued support the hardworking men and women gathered here and all across Missouri and Kansas, with great conservative leaders representing these two great states in Washington, D.C., in the House and the Senate, with President Donald Trump in the White House, and with God’s help, I know we will make America prosperous again. We will make America safe again. And to borrow a phrase, we will make America great again. (Applause.)
Thank you very much. God bless you, Missouri. God bless you, Kansas. And God bless America. (Applause.)
1:30 P.M. CDT