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Sheraton Dallas Hotel
Dallas, Texas

10:53 A.M. CST

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Good morning, Texas.  (Applause.)  To Congressman Sessions, my friend of many years, to Secretary Acosta, Congressman Hensarling, Lieutenant Governor Patrick, and to all of you gathered here, it is great to be back in the Lone Star State.  (Applause.)

And it’s wonderful of you all to be out on a rainy Saturday morning.  Thank you for making time.  And I just don’t express my thanks, but allow me to express the thanks and the greetings of the man the people of Texas overwhelmingly voted to make the 45th President of the United States of America, I bring greetings from President Donald Trump.  (Applause.)

But before I get started, permit me to address the events of this week.  The terrible attack that took place in Parkland, Florida just three days ago.  I know it’s on all of our hearts and on our minds.

As everyone knows, a troubled young man walked into his old high school and opened fire.  He murdered 17 of his former classmates and wounded at least 14 others before his rampage came to an end.

In America, we mourn with those who mourn, and we grieve with those who grieve.  And as the President said yesterday, “Our entire nation is praying for the victims and their families.”

The heartache in Broward County is unimaginable, but it’s a heartache that Texas knows all too well.  The last time my wife and I were in Texas, we spent time in Sutherland Springs, with the families of the fallen and the injured in the wake of the worst shooting at a place of worship in our nation’s history.

Then, as now, hearts were broken.  Then, as now, heroes were forged.  Once again, our nation grieves for the loss of lives of promise.  And once again, our nation is inspired by stories of selfless acts of courage.

In the days ahead, we will tell their stories and remember their lives.  Lives like, Alaina Petty, a vibrant and determined young 14-year-old girl.  She was a member of junior ROTC.  She was active in her church.  Volunteered her time to help neighbors, just last year, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

And all the nation continues to marvel at the story of Coach Aaron Feis, a beloved assistant coach who raced toward the sound of the gunfire.  Witnesses reported that he killed when he literally threw himself in front of students, protecting them from oncoming bullets.  As one of his colleagues said of Coach Feis, “He died the same way he lived; he put himself second.”  He was a hero.

But we will remember, and we will mourn.  And as the President Trump did last night when he visited the Broward Health North Hospital, we will come alongside the injured and their families as they recover.

As your Vice President, let me assure you: We are continuing to bring the full resources of the federal government to bear in support of Broward County Sheriff’s Office and in support of this investigation.  We will get to the bottom of what happened here.

And as we speak, the Justice Department is already working with agencies across our government to study the intersection of mental health and criminality.  And when the President Trump meets with our nation’s governors in just a few short weeks, he will make the safety of our nation’s schools our top administration priority.  (Applause.)

As the President said, “No child, no teacher, should ever be in danger in an American school, no parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them goodbye in the morning.”

Not surprisingly, voices in Washington and in the media are running to their predictable debates.  But I’ll promise you, the President and our entire administration are going to remain focused.  We’re going to remain focused on bringing renewed energy to making our schools safe, and taking a renewed look at giving law enforcement and local authorities the tools they need to deal with individuals struggling with dangerous mental illness.  (Applause.)

As the President said, it is not going to be enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference.  We actually must make a difference, and we will.

You know, we’re passing through a trying time in the life of our nation.  Mass shootings occurring across our country — this week in Florida, not long ago in Nevada, and here in Texas.

And in this challenging time, I would offer to all of you who, like my little family, take time to bow the head and bend the knee, I encourage you to do so this week for our fellow Americans.  (Applause.)

The Bible says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.”  So let’s pray for our neighbors in Parkland, Florida.  Let’s pray for God’s grace and comfort for all of the families impacted by this terrible attack, especially in the difficult days that lie ahead for them.

And let’s pray for wisdom for all in positions of authority, that we might find a way to come together as a nation to confront and end this evil, in our time, once and for all.  (Applause.)  So thank you for that.

And it is great to be back in Texas, in “Big D” — (applause) — with the men and women who elected a President and leaders in Congress who, just two months ago, enacted historic tax cuts that are putting America first.  (Applause.)  You did it.

I want to thank Congressman Pete Sessions, for that great introduction, for his friendship of so many years.  His conservative leadership on behalf of Texas, his partnership with this administration.  Let’s give Pete Sessions another round of applause.  Do you mind?  (Applause.)

And let me take a moment to recognize another great Texan in the House of Representatives, a man who I have had the privilege of calling one of my closest friends during my days in the Congress and a leader who will be concluding a distinguished and impactful conservative career on Capitol Hill.  Join me in thanking Congressman Jeb Hensarling for his extraordinary career of leadership.  (Applause.)

I’m also grateful to be joined today by a lifelong champion of American prosperity, who, as you just heard a little bit ago, is fighting every day for American jobs and a more prosperous future.  Join me in thanking Secretary of Labor, Alex Acosta, for his principled leadership and presence here today.  (Applause.)

I’d also like to thank, finally, our host today.  An organization that is working tirelessly to promote the policies that are making a real difference in the lives of Texas and in the life of our nation — join me in thanking America First Policies for bringing us all together today.  (Applause.)

I’m here today, really, on the President’s behalf to give you a report on the progress we’ve made and just to say thanks.  Thank you, Texas.  Thank you for standing with our administration.  Because of your support — your hard work — since day one of our administration, we have been advancing an agenda that is making America great again.  (Applause.)

It’s been just over a year since the President and I took office, and, folks, it’s a — I like to say it’s been a year of promises made and promises kept.  (Applause.)  I mean, think about it.  We’ve been keeping our promise to fight for, first and foremost, to strengthen this nation’s national defense.  Standing with the men and women of our armed forces, and their families, and our veterans, as never before.

I’m proud to say that last year, with the support of these leaders in Congress, the President signed the largest increase in military spending in nearly a decade.

And last week, thanks to President Trump’s leadership, Congress reached a two-year budget deal that includes the largest investment in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan.  (Applause.)  I can promise you, under this Commander-in-Chief, the days of budget cuts of our armed forces are over.  (Applause.)

And I’ll make you a promise in the days ahead, we’re going to continue to rebuild our military, restore our arsenal of democracy, until we once again give our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard the resources and the training they need to accomplish their mission and come home safe.  (Applause.)

And with renewed American strength, our administration has been achieving real results on the international stage.  We’ve been taking the fight against radical Islamic terrorism on our terms, to their soil.

We’ve been leading — we’ve been putting the leading state-sponsor of terrorism on notice.  And under this administration, the United States of America will no longer certify the disastrous Iran nuclear deal or tolerate their destabilizing activities in the region.  (Applause.)

In Afghanistan, I’m proud to say, our military is confronting, shoulder-to-shoulder with Afghan National Forces — confronting the Taliban and other terrorist enemies in new and renewed ways.

And thanks to the leadership of our Commander-in-Chief, and the courage of American armed forces, I’m proud to report to you that in Iraq and in Syria, ISIS is on the run.  (Applause.)  Their capital has fallen, their caliphate has crumbled, and we will not rest or relent until ISIS is destroyed at its source so it can no longer threaten this country or our allies.  (Applause.)

And last week, at the Olympics, as we cheered on Team USA, we also stood strong with our allies.  And we made it clear that the United States of America will continue to bring maximum pressure to bear on the dictatorship in North Korea until they stop threatening this country and end their nuclear and ballistic missile program once and for all.  (Applause.)

So it’s about security abroad.  And when it comes to keeping Americans safe here at home, we’ve been busy as well.  From the outset of this administration, this administration has been taking decisive steps to enforce our laws; secure our borders; taking dangerous drug dealers off our — violent criminals off our street.  And just last night, when I was visiting the southern border, with the thanks of this administration, in the last year, illegals crossings at our southern border are down by more than 50 percent.  (Applause.)

We’ve made progress but we still have work to do.  I learned yesterday at the Hidalgo border center that along the southern border of the United States, we actually still apprehend 1,100 individuals a day, who are attempting to enter this country illegally, including seven individuals a day who are either known or suspected terrorists.

So men and women, let me say, we’re going to continue to work to secure our borders.  We’re going to reform a broken immigration system.  And make no mistake about it, we’re going to build that wall.  (Applause.)

We’ve also been taking a strong stand here at home, to strengthen the foundation of the Rule of Law in this country — keeping our promise to uphold the Rule of Law, by appointing strong conservatives to our federal courts at every level.  (Applause.)

Last year, the President of the United States and the Republicans in the Senate actually nominated and confirmed more conservative members to the court of appeals in a single year than any President had ever accomplished in history of this country.  (Applause.)

And we’ll continue to nominate men and women to our courts at every level who will uphold the God-given liberties enshrined in our Constitution, like the newest Justice to the Supreme Court of the United States, Justice Neil Gorsuch.  (Applause.)

So we’ve accomplished much for American security at home and abroad.  But today, I came to talk about American prosperity.  Since day one of this administration, we’ve been working to get this economy moving again.  We’ve been rolling back the heavy hand of government.  And thanks to your support and thanks to the leadership of these members of Congress, and the strong leadership of President Donald Trump, I’m proud to report to Texas, growth is back, jobs are coming back, and America is back once again.  Our economy is roaring.  (Applause.)

And it’s no accident.  You know, in the last year, this President has signed more laws cutting through federal red tape than any President in American history.  To fuel the revival of American industry, we’ve been unleashing American energy — the lifeblood of the Lone Star State.  We approved the Keystone and Dakota pipelines, and we repealed the so-called Clean Power Plan.  And our administration put America first when President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord.  (Applause.)

We’re only one year into our administration, and already the results in this economy have been nothing short of remarkable.  Optimism is soaring from the shop floor to the shale field.  Businesses large and small have created more than 2.5 million new jobs since our election, including over 125,000 new jobs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area alone.  (Applause.)

In fact, among the 12 largest metro areas in America, there have been more new jobs created in Dallas since our election than anywhere in America.  (Applause.)

And across the nation, unemployment hasn’t been this low in 17 years.  And while thousands of manufacturing jobs had disappeared in the last year of the last administration, under this President, American manufacturing companies created 200,000 new jobs, including 9,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs right here in Dallas.  That’s real results.  (Applause.)

And when it comes to energy, drilling permits for oil and natural gas are up by 30 percent over the past year in the Lone Star State.

And after eight years of a stagnant economy and stagnant wages that just wouldn’t budge for working American families, American workers are seeing their paychecks rise faster, today, than at any point in over 10 years.  (Applause.)

Now, but as President Trump likes to say, at this White House, that’s just what he calls a good start.  (Laughter.)  And the best, we believe, is yet to come.  Because very soon, the impact of what happened nearly two months ago will start to take its full effect on the American economy.  As you all know, at the end of last year, with the strong support of these great leaders in Congress, President Donald Trump signed into law the largest tax cuts and tax reform in American history.  (Applause.)

We cut taxes for working families, and now the typical family of four in the Dallas-Fort Worth area will keep about $2,300 more of their hard-earned money.  We also slashed taxes on American businesses so they can create more jobs here in the Lone Star State and compete with companies around the world.  (Applause.)

We not only cut taxes on individuals and businesses, but we gave the American people relief from the disaster of Obamacare, when we repealed the individual mandate tax.  It’s gone.  (Applause.)

And since our tax cuts — it’s really been remarkable to watch — hundreds of companies nationwide have already committed to invest an additional $475 billion in the American economy.  (Applause.)  Exxon, based right here in Texas, has announced $50 billion in investments in America alone.

These companies are using this money to expand, to innovate, to create new jobs, and to raise wages for their workers.  In fact, more than 4.3 million American workers have gotten a raise or a bonus since the tax cuts were passed.  Nearly 88,000 Texans already have gotten a “Trump bonus” over the past two months.  (Applause.)  Isn’t that something?

In the Dallas metro area alone, Southwest Airlines announced $1,000 cash bonus to their more than 55,000 workers, full and part-time.  American Airlines announced $1,000 bonuses, too, giving their employees a total of $130 million in extra earnings.

And all across Texas, businesses large and small have given their workers bonuses:  AT&T, Comerica Bank, Texas Capital Bank, just to name a few.

And there’s more to come.  All told, we expect that Texas workers are actually going to see their paycheck rise by about $4,000 a year, when it’s all said and done — (applause) — all because of the tax cuts we’re talking about today, passed by these great leaders in Congress and championed and signed by President Donald Trump.  And we’re just getting started.

Earlier this week, President Trump unveiled a plan — now that we’re rebuilding our economy, we’re going to go ahead and rebuild America and give our country the best roads, and bridges, and infrastructure in the world.  (Applause.)  So stay tuned.

It’s remarkable to think how far we’ve come, in just one year, thanks to the unwavering support of people like all of you.  But the truth is we still have more to do.  So as I close, let me just say, I truly believe and President Trump truly believes that the people that do the most important work in America don’t spend their time in the marbled halls of Washington, D.C.  The real work of America is done by the American people.  And it happens in communities large and small.  (Applause.)

The American people are the beating heart of this nation every day.  You’re the ones that are making the difference.  You make it around your kitchen tables, like when a dad sits to help his daughter with her homework at night.  You see it when America’s truckers and oil workers pull a double shift, just to make sure their family has all their needs met.  Their faces are long but they show the pride of someone who works every day to power our great nation.

And you see it in neighbors helping neighbor, especially when tragedy strikes.  I can’t help but come to Dallas and think about what happened in 2016 in this community — the horrific ambush in July of that year.  It claimed the lives of five Dallas Police officers, and left another seven officers and two civilians injured.  You know, there’s a lot of members of law enforcement that are with us here today.  Would you all mind just showing these people how much we appreciate the job they do, the sacrifices they make to protect our families?  (Applause.)

[Song: “Only in America” by Brooks & Dunn plays]

Thank you for that.  They deserve it every day.

It was an amazing moment, wasn’t it, as the country looked on at the character of this community in July of 2016.  In the wake of this attack, we saw this community and this country come together.  And the men and women of Dallas stepped up in the wake of unspeakable violence.

Like all of you, I’ll never forget watching Police Chief David Brown.  (Applause.)  Extraordinary leader, courageous American.  That day that he stood before the cameras and he urged his fellow Texans to honor the five fallen officers by following in their footsteps.  And Chief Brown said words I’ll never forget, “We’re hiring.”  And the people of Dallas responded.

In the 12 days that followed that act of evil, the character of this community shown forth.  The Dallas Police Department, it’s reported, received 467 job applications.  Nearly 40 people a day stepped forward to serve on the thin blue line.  (Applause.)

That’s the Texas spirit and that’s the American spirit.  Over this past year, we’re seen that spirit on full display.  Here in Texas, in the aftermath of the hurricane, we saw compassion, and resilience, and strength, and generosity.  The nation saw it on that day I mentioned before, following that terrible attack on First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs — the way a community came together, a state, and a nation came together.

And we’re seeing it again this week.  The character and strength and compassion of a nation in the wake of the latest senseless attack in Parkland, Florida.  You know, the truth is, in challenging times, oftentimes we struggle to find light in the darkness.  But that’s when the American spirit shines the brightest.  That’s when your character and your faith is most evident.

And so today, I close with faith.  I have faith in the good people of Texas, who have inspired the nation and the world with your resilience, with your generosity, and with your entrepreneurial spirit and strength.

I have faith in those you’ve elected to represent you at the local, state, and federal level — who represent some of the strongest, most principled, public servants in the land.  (Applause.)  I have faith in that President that Texas put in the Oval Office, as well, who I serve with every day.  (Applause.)

And I also have that other kind of faith.  I have faith in Him who has ever guided and directed this one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.  (Applause.)  That He will yet guide and prosper America.

And so, I believe with all my heart, that, with President Donald Trump in the White House, with your continued help and support, and with God’s help, we will make America safe again.  (Applause.)  We will make America prosperous again.  And, to borrow a phase, we will make America great again.  (Applause.)

Thank you very much.  God bless you.  God bless Texas.  And God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)


11:22 A.M. CST