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President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Here are the highlights from Trump's upcoming speech to Congress


UPDATE  2:27 p.m.:

The White House shared key points from Trump's speech with certain news outlets. Highlights from the speech include, based on the outline:

  • An "optimistic vision for the country that crosses the traditional lines of party, race and socioeconomic status"
  • An agenda including tax reform, making the workplace better for working parents, "saving American families from the disaster of Obamacare," improving education, rebuilding the military and ensuring veterans have access to care

More highlights: 

  • "It will be a speech addressed to ALL Americans AS Americans -- not to a coalition of special interests and minor issues."
  • "Americans can expect a speech that is grounded firmly in solving real problems for real people"
  • Trump will reach out to Americans in the "poorest and most vulnerable communities, and let them know that help is on the way"
  • Calling on Congress to act


President Trump will deliver his first speech to Congress as President on Tuesday night. 

It's not technically a State of the Union address, thanks to decades of tradition in which presidents don't call their first speech to Congress a SOTU.

But the speech is still expected to cover a lot of ground, particularly a defense of Trump's preliminary budget outline that's expected to be released Monday. Here are the six biggest things to watch for. 

The tone

The speech will be written by Stephen Miller, the same person who wrote Trump's inaugural address. That speech was widely perceived by critics as dark, including the now-infamous phrase "American carnage."

But the White House said the tone will be very different, NPR reports. This is expected to focus more on opportunity than problems. Similar addresses are often detail-heavy, while Trump's speeches have largely focused on lofty rhetoric. 

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Military spending boost

Trump has promised to "take care of the military" and law enforcement with his budget, and the White House announced Monday that would include a $54 billion increase in defense spending. He has harped on the state of U.S. military, calling it "depleted." 

He also said Monday that "We don't fight wars to win anymore." 

How he's paying for that military spending

However, Trump isn't expected to raise taxes to pay for that military spending. And he's promised he won't touch the budgets of Medicare or Social Security.

So he's expected to demand big cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and State Department, The New York Times reports.

This comes after the Pentagon sent plans to defeat ISIS to the White House Monday morning.


Trump said during a speech to U.S. governors on Monday he would make the government "lean and accountable." 

To that end, he has already signed an executive order demanding that for every new federal regulation, two others must be repealed. He also instituted a federal hiring freeze early on in his presidency. 

"We must do a lot more with a less," he said Wednesday.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer echoed that sentiment Monday.

Tax and healthcare reforms

The Trump administration is expected to reveal a tax reform plan and a replacement for the Affordable Care Act in the coming months. That may be part of the budget.

But Trump said Monday that tax cuts can't be finalized until the health care systems are fixed. Meanwhile, town halls nationwide have featured liberal constituents decrying attempts to repeal the law without a replacement. Support for the ACA has reached an all-time high in recent polls.

Trump insisted that the tax cut would be "very substantial."

How will Democrats respond? 

They've already started gearing up. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) prepared a "prebuttal" speech on Monday. Meanwhile, dozens of other Democratic lawmakers are expected to unveil legislation that directly counters Trump's agenda.

Nick Rathod, executive director of State Innovation Exchange Action, said Trump's campaign promises stand "in stark contrast to the corporate, billionaire-driven agenda" that has emerged, USA Today reports.

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