RELIGION

The Latest: Trump talks taxes and rebuilding infrastructure

  • President Donald Trump, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, for his address to a joint session of Congress. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Image via AP)

    President Donald Trump, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, for his address to a joint session of Congress. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Image via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • President Donald Trump, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., gestures on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, before his address to a joint session of Congress. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Image via AP)

    President Donald Trump, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., gestures on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, before his address to a joint session of Congress. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Image via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • President Donald Trump gestures as he arrives in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, to address a joint session of Congress. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    President Donald Trump gestures as he arrives in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, to address a joint session of Congress. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on President Donald Trump's first address to Congress Tuesday night (all times local):

9:46 p.m.

For House GOP leaders, President Donald Trump came tantalizingly close to endorsing their plan to overhaul the tax code by imposing a new tax on imports while exempting exports. But, he stopped just short.

"We must create a level playing field for American companies and workers," Trump said. "Currently, when we ship products out of America, many other countries make us pay very high tariffs and taxes — but when foreign companies ship their products into America, we charge them almost nothing," Trump said.

Without providing specifics, Trump said he will propose to change that.

For weeks, the White House has sent mixed signals about the House GOP plan, leaving lawmakers to interpret contradicting statements. Meanwhile, a growing number of Republican senators have condemned the plan.

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9:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump is calling for a "new program of national building."

Trump is invoking President Dwight Eisenhower's infrastructure program to create the highway system. Trump says it's time again for Americans to come together to rebuild itself.

Trump says he'll ask Congress for $1 trillion for U.S. infrastructure, financed by public and private capital. He says it will create millions of new jobs.

The president is lamenting the amount of money the U.S. has spent over the years building up other nations' infrastructure. He says the U.S. should have focused on rebuilding itself.

Trump says two principles will guide the infrastructure project: "Buy American, and hire American."

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9:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump is declaring that his administration "will shortly take new steps to keep our nation safe," pledging new executive action to restrict immigration.

Trump's initial ban on immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations was struck down by a federal court.

The president is expected to announce a new, overhauled plan on Wednesday.

He vowed in his speech to Congress that this administration "has been working on improved vetting procedures" and would "keep out those who would do us harm."

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9:38 p.m.

A young Iraqi immigrant whose return to Maine was delayed by President Donald Trump's travel ban has received a warm welcome from his defense secretary at Tuesday's address to Congress.

Banah Al-Hanfy attended Trump's speech as a guest of Maine U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat.

Pingree tweeted a photo of the 20-year-old college student meeting Gen. James Mattis at the Capitol. She wrote that Mattis told Al-Hanfy, "you are most welcome here."

Pingree also tweeted a photo of Al-Hanfy shaking hands with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Trump's order delayed Al-Hanfy's trip from Baghdad and separated her from her family for 10 days.

Al-Hanfy's father, Labed, has worked as an interpreter for the U.S. military in Iraq and her family had special immigrant visas.

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9:37 p.m.

President Donald Trump is giving a special shout-out to a joint U.S.-Canadian women's council set up to help women entrepreneurs.

Trump's daughter, Ivanka, was a big advocate for the program.

Trump, in his first address to Congress, says the council would help women get access to the networks, markets and capital they need to start a business and "live out their financial dreams."

Ivanka Trump has been a vocal supporter of policies benefiting working women.

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9:36 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the U.S. is taking strong measures to protect itself from "radical Islamic terrorism."

Trump is using the term emphatically in his speech. It's a departure from former President Barack Obama, who opted not to use that term. Obama argued it emboldened extremists by playing into an incorrect belief that the U.S. is at war with Islam.

Trump says it's reckless to allow people into the U.S. uncontrolled from places where they can't be fully vetted. He says the U.S. can't be "a sanctuary for extremists."

The president says his administration is working on better vetting procedures and will soon take "new steps" to keep Americans safe.

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9:34 p.m.

President Donald Trump is seeking to make the case for his tougher immigration rules and the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Trump says in his address to Congress that the nation wants "all Americans to succeed" but it can't happen "in an environment of lawless chaos." He says the U.S. needs to restore the "rule of law" to our borders.

Trump says the country will soon begin construction on the wall and it will be an "effective weapon against drugs and crime."

He says his administration is removing gang members, drug dealers and criminals from the United States. Trump says "bad ones" are going out as he speaks.

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9:33 p.m.

President Donald Trump is claiming credit for taking steps in his first weeks that he says are already bolstering the U.S. economy.

Trump says in his speech to Congress that major companies including Ford and Intel have announced plans to invest in the U.S. and create jobs. He's pointing to gains in the stock market and his hiring freeze for federal workers.

Trump says he's started to "drain the swamp" with a five-year lobbying ban for government officials. He says he's helping create jobs by enabling construction on pipeline and curtailing government regulations.

Trump is also touting his move to remove the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal.

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9:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is casting 2016 as a year in which the "earth shifted beneath our feet," and pointing to his victory as a "rebellion" that "started as a quiet protest" and turned into a "loud chorus."

Trump says in his first address to a joint session of Congress that thousands of Americans spoke out together and their chorus "became an earthquake."

The president says people turned out by the tens of millions united by one demand: that America put its own citizens first. Trump says that only then can we 'Make America Great Again,' referring to his campaign mantra.

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9:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump is opening his address to a joint session of Congress by condemning the recent threats against Jewish community centers and a fatal shooting in Kansas being investigated as a hate crime.

Trump on Tuesday said that "while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms."

The president had received criticism from some civil rights groups who had accused him of being slow in denouncing the violent acts. He had yet to discuss the murder of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, one of two Indian men shot in a bar outside Kansas City.

There have also been dozens of threats against Jewish community centers — and vandalism in Jewish cemeteries — across the nation in recent weeks.

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9:17 p.m.

A few empty seats and no clapping from Democrats greeted President Donald Trump as he arrived in the House for his first address to a joint session of Congress.

Democrats who eagerly packed the aisle seats to shake hands with President Barack Obama the past two terms sent a message to the Republican president. They avoided the aisle seats and few shook the president's hand.

Democratic women wore white to show solidarity with the suffrage movement.

As the president spoke, Republicans jumped up and applauded. Democrats sat.

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9:08 p.m.

Democratic women in the House are wearing white in honor of women's suffrage to President Donald Trump's first address to a joint session of Congress.

Some Democrats also are wearing blue ribbons for the American Civil Liberties Union, and blue buttons that say #protectourcare in support of President Barack Obama's health care law. Trump and some Republicans are calling for a revamp of the policy.

The heads of the Democratic Women's Working Group wrote a letter to their colleagues Monday reminding them to wear white to honor the suffrage movement and also to "stand in solidarity with the women of our nation." Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was among those on the aisle wearing white.

Democrat Hillary Clinton wore all-white pantsuits during big moments in her presidential campaign.

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8:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump is set to declare that "the time for small thinking is over" in his address to Congress.

Trump is to say "the time for trivial fights is behind us" and that the nation needs "the courage to share the dreams that fill our hearts" — in his speech Tuesday night, according to excerpts released by the White House.

The president, in what is his first speech to Congress, will also say that his administration will push forth a tax reform plan as well as call for "Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare."

In the excerpts, Trump also says that "by finally enforcing our immigration laws, we will raise wages, help the unemployed," and save billions of dollars.

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8:30 p.m.

An activist giving a Democratic response in Spanish to President Donald Trump's first speech to a joint session of Congress says Trump is "taking us back to some of the darkest times in our history."

In excerpts of her speech, Astrid Silva says she is speaking to represent the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. Silva is a so-called Dreamer who was brought into the country illegally as a child.

She accuses Trump of "criminalizing anyone who is different, pitting us against each other, and sending the wrong message to the rest of the world, helping to breed anger and hate from terrorist groups to our country."

Instead of repealing President Barack Obama's health care law, Silva says, Republicans should improve it so it can cover more people.

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8:03 p.m.

The former governor of Kentucky says Republicans are trying to "rip affordable health insurance" away from the people who most need it.

Former Gov. Steve Beshear plans to give the Democratic Party's formal response to President Donald Trump's address to Congress Tuesday night. In advance excerpts, Beshear says the more than 20 million Americans benefiting from former President Barack Obama's health care law aren't "aliens from a distant planet." Beshear says they're friends and neighbors who now face "life and death" decisions because of the GOP effort to kill that law.

Beshear says Trump's attacks on intelligence agencies, the press, federal courts and others are "eroding our democracy" and reckless.

The 72-year-old Beshear is best known for expanding health coverage in his deep red state under Obama's law.