Trump's speech brings GOP praise, Ryan calls remarks 'home run'

Congressional Republicans praised President Trump’s speech to Congress Tuesday night, signaling optimism within the party about the new president and the GOP-led Congress working together on shared policies and one vision for America.

“I thought that was a bold, positive speech,” said Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a fierce Trump rival in the 2016 GOP primary. “My number one priority in the Senate has always been jobs and economic growth. That’s why I was so energized by President Trump’s speech.”

Cruz and fellow Capitol Hill Republicans cited Trump’s commitment to repeal and replace ObamaCare, plans to build the Keystone oil pipeline and focus on tax and regulatory reform.

The president’s calls for possible immigration reform and an infrastructure-stimulus package that could cost millions of dollars resulted in no GOP criticism.

“President Trump has worked tirelessly to keep his campaign promises: from undoing President Obama’s jobs-killing regulatory regime, to taking action to secure our nation,” said the House Freedom Caucus, the chamber’s most fiscally conservative wing. “The president reaffirmed his commitment to fully repeal ObamaCare and replace it with patient-centered, market-driven policy.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan, who during the 2016 White House race was critical of some of Trump’s comments, called the speech "a home run.”

“We now have a government unified around a simple, but important principle: empowering the people -- not Washington,” he said.

Ryan, R-Wisc., also called Trump’s message “bold” and “optimistic” and praised the president for his commitment to “keeping our country safe from the threat of radical Islam.”

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao championed Trump’s request to Congress for legislation for a $1 trillion, public-private stimulus package, saying he had “bold ideas” for how to pay for such a plan and that it goes beyond roads and bridges to include broadband and waterways.

“The federal government cannot and should not be the only source of revenue,” she told Fox News.