Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Presidential Message on the 72nd Birthday of the United States Air Force

Office of the Press Secretary
Presidential Message on the 72nd Birthday of the United States Air Force
As Commander in Chief, I am proud to join a grateful Nation in wishing the United States Air Force a happy 72nd birthday.

Established after the conclusion of World War II and with the passing of the National Security Act of 1947, the United States Air Force is the world’s most dominant fighting force in air, space, and cyberspace.  For more than seven decades, America’s airmen have been at the forefront of protecting our citizens and helping the United States promote global peace and prosperity.  In their endeavor to always Aim High, these patriots use unrivaled technology and ingenuity to safeguard America’s military installations and assets, support our operations in all environments, and defend our cherished freedoms.

Today, the United States Air Force continues to uphold this standard of excellence and readiness.  Around the world, our aircraft—both manned and unmanned—dominate the skies, our satellite and cyber operations protect and secure the flow of information for our Armed Services and our Intelligence Community, and our innovative airmen find new and lasting ways to Fly, Fight, and Win.

Earlier this year, I was honored to address the next generation of airmen graduating from the prestigious United States Air Force Academy during their commencement exercises in Colorado.  It was my honor to shake the hand of the nearly 1,000 cadets who had bravely answered our Nation’s call of duty, and I was moved by their fearless commitment to serving our country.

I am grateful to the men and women of the United States Air Force and all of our military personnel and their families for their immeasurable sacrifice.  We salute you for your honorable service and your commitment to keeping America safe, strong, and free.

Statement from the Press Secretary

Office of the Press Secretary
Statement from the Press Secretary
The United States strongly condemns the Taliban’s cowardly attacks against the Afghan people.  Today’s bombing of the election rally in Parwan province killed nearly 30 Afghan civilians, including women and children, while the suicide attack in Kabul near the Afghan Ministry of Defense and U.S. Embassy compound killed more than 20 Afghans.  The President has made clear that he will not negotiate a peace agreement while the Taliban continues such attacks.

1600 Daily The White House • September 17, 2019 At the White House today, 28 People Become Americans

1600 Daily
The White House • September 17, 2019

At the White House today, 28 people become Americans 

On this day 232 years ago, the Framers met in Philadelphia to sign our Constitution, setting our nation on a bold course to becoming a more perfect Union.

John Adams called the drafting of our Constitution “the greatest single effort of national deliberation that the world has ever seen.” During Constitution Week, we celebrate the American citizens who have devoted their lives to implementing the Framers’ vision of the world’s grandest, most successful experiment in self-government.

In honor of that vision, Vice President Mike Pence led a White House naturalization ceremony today, where 28 new Americans officially became United States citizens.

  In photos: “Welcome to the American family,” Vice President Pence says.

“It is Constitution Day in America, but this is your day—your first day as American citizens—and you have our congratulations,” the Vice President said. “Welcome to the American family.”

This moving ceremony represents everything that our great Constitution stands for. These 28 individuals all came from different walks of life, but each one hoped to be a part of the American Dream that’s seen as a symbol of hope throughout the world. This week, nearly 34,000 other individuals like these 28 will be welcomed with open arms as the newest citizens of the United States of America.

“You all have one thing in common: You aspired to be Americans,” Vice President Pence said. “You stepped forward, you followed the law, you went through the process, and, today, you are American citizens. Well done.”

See President Trump’s proclamation on Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.

More: This Constitution Week, America welcomes 34,000 new legal citizens

President Trump arrives in California!

President Donald J. Trump continues his tour out West today, arriving in sunny California after spending last night in New Mexico.

Despite liberal state leaders who often fail to address the state’s most pressing challenges, Californians have seen incredible results under President Trump’s economic program. Job creation has rebounded in a big way, with more than 870,000 jobs added since President Trump’s election. Perhaps even more impressive, in that same time period California’s unemployment rate fell from 5.4 percent to 4.1 percent—a record low.

The difference-maker wasn’t more high-tax, big-government policies that the people of California have grown accustomed to seeing from their leaders. It was the pro-growth, workers-first agenda that President Trump began implementing on day one.

But despite these gains, California cities continue to be hampered by a severe homelessness problem that the state’s left-wing leaders consistently fail to address.

Nearly a quarter of the entire U.S. homeless population resides in California—about 130,000 people. Today, four of the five major American cities with the highest rates of unsheltered homelessness are in the state. To illustrate how dire the problem is, San Francisco has a rate of unsheltered homelessness of 60 per 10,000—10 times greater than the national average.

How did this happen? There is plenty of blame to go around in the state’s leadership, but in general, left-wing policies such as overregulation have deepened the crisis, driving up the prices of homes and leaving more people unable to afford a roof over their heads.

Making matters worse, many liberal leaders continue to ignore the rule of law—and the will of the people—by enabling massive illegal immigration. In the end, it’s their own constituents who pay the price. San Francisco’s leaders have loudly pushed for open-border policies even while their communities face a worsening homelessness crisis.

President Trump is calling them out. His Administration is paving the way for more affordable housing development and bringing needed reforms to America’s housing finance system. Real work is already being done to reduce the risk factors for homelessness, such as improving addiction treatment and mental healthcare, as well as promoting career opportunities for former prisoners. Hopefully California leaders take note.

 Something to share: President Trump has delivered big results for California!

The New York Times: “America’s Cities Are Unlivable. Blame Wealthy Liberals.”

Photo of the Day

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead
President Donald J. Trump disembarks Air Force One at Moffett Federal Airfield in Mountain View, California | September 17, 2019

Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding the Visit of President Sauli Niinistö of the Republic of Finland

Office of the Press Secretary
Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding the Visit of President Sauli Niinistö of the Republic of Finland
President Donald J. Trump will welcome President Sauli Niinistö of the Republic of Finland to the White House on October 2, 2019. President Trump and President Niinistö will discuss enhancing cooperation between the United States and Finland, including opportunities to promote European and Arctic security. They will also reaffirm their shared interest in commercial and technological cooperation. This meeting will occur during the 100th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between the United States and Finland, and the President looks forward to celebrating this important anniversary with President Niinistö.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Statement from the Press Secretary

Office of the Press Secretary
Statement from the Press Secretary
President Donald J. Trump will host and provide keynote remarks at the Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom event on Monday, September 23, 2019, at the United Nations Headquarters.  Vice President Mike Pence will also be in attendance and will introduce President Trump.  The President is working to broaden international support for ongoing efforts to protect religious freedom in the wake of increasing persecution of people on the basis of their beliefs and a growing number of attacks on and destruction of houses of worship by state and non-state actors.  The President will call on the international community to take concrete steps to prevent attacks against people on the basis of their religion or beliefs and to ensure the sanctity of houses of worship and all public spaces for all faiths.


Office of the Press Secretary


Via Teleconference

4:31 P.M. EDT

     MS. SLOBODIEN:  Thank you everyone for joining us.  Today we are joined by Acting Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Tomas Philipson who will provide on-the-record remarks about the state of homelessness in America.  After his remarks conclude and time permitting, we will open the lines up for question and answer.  At that time, we may have additional senior administration officials speak on background.  I will now turn things over to Tomas.

ACTING CHAIRMAN PHILIPSON:  Thank you, Rachael.  And thank you everyone for joining in our call today to discuss CEA's newly released report which provides an in-depth look at the state of homelessness in America and the supply and demand factors in the housing market that may actually cause it.

The Trump administration's overall economic agenda has been involved in an extensive amount of deregulation that has lowered costs of the supply side of the economy and thereby increased economic activity and GDP growth.

In several previous CEA reports, we have documented large economic value to the U.S. economy from the deregulatory agenda.  CEA's report today on the state of homelessness in America continues this effort by focusing on how government barriers in the housing market limit supply and thereby raises prices.  These barriers can be reduced by deregulation that increases competition on the supply side, reduces prices, and thereby lowers homelessness.

More specifically, as our report discusses, harmful local government policies in select cities, along with ineffective federal government policies of prior administrations, have exaggerated the homelessness problem.  Therefore, the Trump administration is working to reverse the failed policies of the past, and instead implement policies that address the underlying causes of homelessness.

Before discussing the finding of this report, I'll offer an outline on what it entails.

In this report, CEA first describes the homelessness barriers across the United States and analyzes the major factors driving these differences, especially harmful local government policies.

Next, we discuss the shortcomings of previous federal policies to reduce homelessness populations.

And finally, we describe what the Trump administration is doing to improve federal efforts to reduce homelessness through increasing both the supply and demand for homes.  I will now go over each of these three parts in turn.

Our first part was on the state of homelessness across America.  On any given night, over half a million Americans are homeless, which is about 0.2 percent of our population.  Approximately 65 percent of homeless people are found in a homeless shelter, and the other 35 percent are found in unsheltered -- or found unsheltered on our streets and places not intended for human habitation, such as sidewalks, parks, cars, or abandoned buildings.

Contrary to reported trends that suggest that more than 94,000, or 15 percent, of a reduction that’s taken place since 2007, it is unclear whether homelessness in the United States has actually decreased.  At least in part, the reported decline in homelessness may be a result of an inconsistent definition of people living in transitional housing versus rapid re-housing, and miscounting of the unsheltered homeless population.

Today, unsheltered homelessness remains concentrated on the West Coast, where sheltered homelessness is concentrated in the Northeast.  First, we document several facts in this report on unsheltered homelessness.  In total, almost half, or 47 percent, of people sleeping on the streets in the United States are found in California, although the state only represents 12 percent of the U.S. population.

Almost one-fifth, or 19 percent, of all people sleeping on the streets in the United States are found in Los Angeles County, although the county only represents 3.1 percent of the U.S. population.  Of the five cities with the highest rates of unsheltered homelessness, four are in California, the fifth being in Seattle.

The highest rates of sheltered homelessness are in the three cities in the Northeast: Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C.  The rates of sheltered homelessness in these three cities are more than twice as high as the rate in every other major city.

In fact, over 20 percent of all people sleeping in shelters in the United States are found in New York City, although the city only represents 2.6 percent of the U.S. population.

One of the questions this CEA report addresses is: What is the reason for the higher concentration of homelessness in Northeast and on the West Coast?   What’s responsible for these differences?  In particular, have state and local government policies in these regions contributed to the problem?

The simple answer to this question is yes.  Specifically, overregulation of local housing markets has reduced supply and raised prices, making the cost of a home out of reach for more people.  In fact, as this CEA report finds, deregulating housing markets with excessive regulations would result in major reductions in homelessness in a number of key metropolitan areas.

Homelessness would fall by 54 percent in San Francisco.  It would fall by 40 percent in Los Angeles.  It would fall by 36 percent in Washington, D.C., and 23 percent in New York City, if markets were deregulated.

Homelessness would fall by an average of 31 percent in the 11 metropolitan areas with excessive regulation that significantly drives up the cost of housing.  These 11 metropolitan areas currently contain 42 percent of the overall homeless population in the United States.

A second major factor that increases homelessness is the tolerability of sleeping on the street.  Unsurprisingly, unsheltered homelessness is much more likely in warmer cities. But not all warm places have high rates of unsheltered homelessness.

The report finds that states like California, Oregon, and Washington have rates of unsheltered homelessness over twice as high as would be predicted given their weather, home prices, and poverty rates.  On the contrary, states like Florida and Arizona have lower-than-expected rates.

Local policies, including the role of the police, could play a role in these differences.  When paired with effective services, humane policing may be an important tool to help move people off the street and into shelter or housing where they can get the services they need, as well as to ensure the health and safety of homeless and non-homeless people alike.

A third major factor that increases homelessness is the quality and availability of shelters.  Boston, New York City, and Washington, D.C., have rates of sheltered homeless over 2.7 times as high as the rate in every other city.  Each of these cities has the Right to Shelter law that guarantees shelter of minimum-quality level.

     Of course, it is important to provide shelters to those who need it, but Right to Shelter laws can be an inefficient way to ensure people remain housed.

     Finally, the prevalence of individual risk factors that lowers demand for housing, such as mental illness and substance abuse, can increase homelessness as well. 

     Our second part of the report discusses the failed policies of the past.  In addition to shortcomings at the local government level, decades of misguided federal government politics have largely been ineffective.  The federal government has supported a major expansion of permanent housing assistance targeted to homeless people over the past decade.

     Though well intentioned, these policies may be less effective in the long run as permanent housing assistance delays transitions into private, as opposed to public, housing.  

     The failure is evidenced by the lack of reduction in homelessness correctly measured.  Falling homeless counts over the past decade do not represent the actual hardship of the homeless population in that they are likely a result of inconsistent definitions of homelessness across assistance types and miscounting unsheltered homeless populations.

     Lastly, our third part of the report discusses the Trump administration’s policies to reduce homelessness.  The administration is dedicated to reversing the failed policies of the past by addressing the root causes of homelessness.  To this end, President Trump has signed an executive order on removing regulatory barriers limiting housing supply.  This regulatory effort would reduce the price of homes and, in turn, reduce homelessness.  This executive order continues the President’s overall effort to deregulate the economy for better performance.

     In addition to addressing factors that limit supply, the Trump administration is also addressing factors that reduce demand for housing, and thereby raise homelessness.

     These actions include successful efforts to stem the illicit drug prices, improve the federal response to mental illness, improve the prospects for people exiting prison, and increasing incomes and opportunity for those at the bottom of the income distribution.

     The President’s policies to reduce the supply of illicit drugs entering the United States, prevent new people from becoming addicted by ensuring proper use of prescription drugs, and provide treatment to those with substance use disorders have been successful in finally reducing drug overdose deaths.

The Trump administration is also supporting the police in their efforts to promote safer cities.  When paired with effective social service provisions, the police can be an important partner in moving highly vulnerable people off the streets into shelter or housing where they can receive the help they need.

As potential evidence of better-supported police, the violent crime rate fell slightly, by 0.9 percent, in 2017 after increasing by 7 percent between 2014 and ’16.  According to preliminary data based on the first six months of 2018, violent crime in 2018 fell by 4.3 percent.

Under the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s lead, federal homeless assistance programs have been improved by providing flexibility for communities, if they choose, to require people who use homeless assistance to participate in provided supportive services that address their underlying problems after they have been stabilized in housing.  Programs have also been improved to more strongly encourage self-sufficiency.

Finally, strong economic growth, historically low unemployment rates, and reductions in poverty have increased the incomes of people at the bottom of the distribution and can reduce their likelihood of falling into homelessness.

During the second quarter of 2019, the weekly wages for the 10th percentile of full-time workers -- meaning, the 10 percent of the lowest compensated workers -- was up 6.6 percent year-to-year, according to BLS data.  This is higher than the median 3.7 [percent] year-to-year growth and higher than during the Obama administration, particularly so for lower-income individuals. 

With the time remaining, I would be happy to take any questions.  Thank you.

Q    Hi, there.  Thank you for taking the time.  Just a quick point of clarification.  The call is all on the record, but any comments other than Mr. Philipson -- Chairman Philipson, would be background?  If you could just clarify that.

And, Mr. Philipson, I wanted you to address, again, the executive order.  Did you say that was signed today?  And could you give us any more detail on that?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Josh, this is [senior administration official].  Yes, you are correct in understanding of the ground rules.  Everything that Chairman Philipson says is on the record.  And then we also have senior administration officials who will be speaking on background.

And I’ll turn that over -- turn it over to them to answer the question about the executive order.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Yes, the executive order under question was signed on June 25th, so just a couple of months ago.  It established the White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing.

Q    Thank you.

Q    Hi.  Thank you for taking my call.  Could you please -- could somebody please explain a little bit more how you reach these figures on how much homelessness would be reduced in these cities if you deregulated the housing market?  I mean, this seems, on the surface, quite a leap.  I mean, how can you tell that homelessness would go down 54 percent in San Francisco by removing housing regulations?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Sure.  So I would definitely recommend checking the report.  So we basically take estimates from Ed Glaesar and Joe Gyourko, who have a lot of research on the impacts of regulations in the housing market and driving up home prices.

So, basically, we assume that if you deregulated these housing markets, home prices would fall until hitting the cost to produce a home.  We then translate that reduction in home prices into reductions in rent.  And we use estimates on the academic literature to estimate how much debt reduction in rent would reduce homelessness.

Q    Okay.  Does it clarify what regulations you’re talking about?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  I mean, we do list a large set of examples.  There are a lot of different types of regulations that drive up home prices.  And we do list a number of those in the report.  Those are also areas that have been listed in the executive order on deregulation housing markets.  And that will hopefully be addressed as well.

Q    Thank you.

     Q    Hi.  Thanks for doing the call.  I was hoping you could just expand a little bit more about your findings in New York City -- what you're seeing about the state of homelessness there, as well as what Bill de Blasio and the city administration is doing that is helping or hurting the homeless population.
     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Sure.  I think the main factor in New York City -- I mean, one factor is their higher home prices due to overregulation of housing markets.  We do find that, if they were to deregulate their housing markets, you would see something like a 20, 23 percent reduction in homelessness.

     Another factor with New York City -- and they share this characteristic with Boston in the state of Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. -- is a Right to Shelter law, which basically says, "We're going to provide shelter to all those who need it."  Obviously, we do want to provide shelter to those who need it, but this type of provision does end up bringing in people into the system who otherwise would be housed on their own.  And so, for this reason, we see much higher rates of sheltered homelessness in New York City than other places with similar characteristics.

     Q    And, forgive me, who is this speaking?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  A senior administration official on background.

     Q    Okay.  Thank you.

     Q    Hi.  Thank you for taking my question.  I wanted to ask about the portion of the report about conditions for sleeping on the streets and -- as it relates to policing.  Are you saying that -- you know, areas like Los Angeles maybe, cities in California, are fairly heavily policed?  So what exactly are you saying would be a change necessary that -- from police -- that would improve homelessness?
     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Yes.  I mean, I think the main message from the paper on this is, you know, one of the major factors when it comes to unsheltered homelessness is obviously climate.  If it's very cold out -- places like Minneapolis have very low rates of unsheltered homelessness.  What we find is that if you look at warm places, such as places in California or Florida, there's lot of variation in rates of unsheltered homelessness.  So, for instance, California has a much higher rate of unsheltered homelessness than Florida.

     There's lots of potential factors that could explain that.  One of them could be policing.  You know, we need more research on the extent to what types of policing policies, what types of ordinances affect that.

     I think, policy-wise, obviously there's lots of options that are being considered.  But it is important, we believe, to get people off the street and into the services that they need in order to address their fundamental problem.

     Q    Okay.  So just to clarify, you didn't identify a specific policy or method of policing, such as, like, a broken windows policy that contributed to that difference.

     Q    Thank you.

     Q    Hi, guys.  Thanks for doing the call.  One, I was wondering if you could address the rumor that the President is going to be making a visit to San Francisco on this topic as part of his trip this week.

And secondly, when you talk about regulation driving up housing costs, did you all consider factors like concentration, desirability of these cities -- when you talk about like a New York or a San Francisco, just in terms of inability to expand?  Did you look at that as a factor in driving up the cost of homes?
     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  On the second question, I can answer.  I mean, there is certainly geographical constraints around building housing in places like San Francisco.

     But, for the most part, you know, we're looking at metropolitan areas here.  And there generally is room to build -- either more densely, building up higher.  And so, there are real ways in which regulation -- even in these places with geographic constraints, these regulations really are driving up the price of homes.  And with real deregulatory action, we could see reduction in rent and therefore reductions in homelessness.
     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  And for the question about the President's schedule, I'd refer you to the White House Press Office.

     Q    Okay, thanks.

     Q    Yes.  Thank you.  Hi, thank you for taking -- making this call available.  I'm -- there's been some discourse that this homelessness push is a punitive measure meant to punish states like New York and California -- in particular cities like San Francisco, New York, where the President is not popular.  How do you -- how do you address that and how do you do this work -- how does this work have legitimacy in those places?

     ACTING CHAIRMAN PHILIPSON:  So basically -- this is Tomas Philipson again.  Basically, this report basically only lays out the facts.  So those facts are basically the ones I discussed, where it's concentrated in California for unsheltered homelessness, and in the Northeast for sheltered.  And then we looked at the evidence on what are driving those patterns and we argued that deregul- -- or regulatory barriers to supply is an important component of the homelessness.  And we're not necessarily singling out, we're just documenting the facts around the problem.

     Q    Hi, this is Ben Oreskes from the LA Times.  Could you guys address sort of the reports from the Washington Post last week about using government buildings to build shelters in California, and whether or not there is any credence to the idea that you'd be kind of trying to find ways to compel people who are living on the streets without access to a shelter into these FAA facilities or other shelters that you might have in mind?

     ACTING CHAIRMAN PHILIPSON:  So this report is -- it’s Tom Philipson again.  This report only addresses the evidence, which it -- basically therefore (inaudible) to past evidence on homelessness.  And current deliberations on our policy agenda going forward is not something that the report addresses, and I'm not going to address it today.

     Q    But is there anything you could say, just broadly, about the administration's thinking about how they could help cities?  I mean, the federal government's role in dealing with or addressing homelessness is new.  This would be new.  Can you say anything about what you guys are thinking may be ways you could help?

     ACTING CHAIRMAN PHILIPSON:  Well, obviously the President is very concerned with the unsheltered homelessness crisis in California.  But today's talk -- today's call is only on this report and we will be discussing, you know, our initiatives in future calls.

     Q    Hi there.  This is Alex Alper and Lisa Lambert.  Will there be any policy announcements on Trump's trip to California this week on homelessness?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Again, I would refer you to the White House Press Office for questions regarding the President's travel.

     I think we have time for one more caller.

     Q    Hi there and thanks for doing the call.  Governor Newsom has come out with a statement saying that the administration is obviously proposing significant cuts to public housing, asking for 50,000 more vouchers.  What is your response to the Governor?  And do you see any room to work with California?  Do you see any middle ground?

     ACTING CHAIRMAN PHILIPSON:  Yeah, so I think this is not the correct call for that.  I think that you should discuss that with the Governmental Affairs Office, as opposed to the Council of Economic Advisers.

     MS. SLOBODIEN:  And with that, we're ready to wrap up our call.  Thank you everyone for joining us today.

                              END                 4:56 P.M. EDT


West Wing Reads This Constitution Week, America Welcomes 34,000 New Legal Citizens

West Wing Reads

This Constitution Week, America Welcomes 34,000 New Legal Citizens

Today, we celebrate Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, part of Constitution Week.

“On this day, we recognize the signing of the U.S. Constitution and reflect upon the meaning and importance of citizenship and what it means to be an American, whether native or foreign-born,” Ken Cuccinelli, Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), writes for Fox News.

Across the country this week, USCIS will welcome over 34,000 new citizens at more than 300 special naturalization ceremonies in celebration of Constitution Week.

“We believe that U.S. citizenship is the greatest honor and privilege in the world,” he says.

Click here to read more.
“Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh will apparently receive continuing education in the politics of personal destruction, and this weekend came another round of rumor-mill accusations,” The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes. “It’s important to understand that this assault on the Justice is part of the left’s larger campaign against the legitimacy of the current Supreme Court and an independent judiciary.”
President Trump’s USMCA trade deal “will play a critical role in the revitalization of our automobile industry,” Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) writes in the Washington Examiner. “It has become clear over the last decade that NAFTA’s rules over automobile manufacturing were outdated and were hurting the American auto industry.”
“Past administrations neglected their constitutional duty, refusing to uphold and enforce our nation’s laws. President Trump is different. He is taking bold, decisive actions to keep America safe and secure – and the numbers prove that his strategy is working,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) writes for Fox News. “The number of [border] apprehensions has dropped because every mile of wall makes it harder and harder to get into America illegally.”

Presidential Proclamation on Constitution Day, Citizenship Day, and Constitution Week, 2019

Office of the Press Secretary

- - - - - - -



     Two hundred thirty-two years ago, the Framers of the Constitution met in Philadelphia and set our country on a bold course toward forming a more perfect Union.  John Adams called the drafting of the Constitution "the greatest single effort of national deliberation that the world has ever seen," and since its ratification, this exceptional document has remained the bedrock of the rule of law for our Nation.  On this day and during this week, we celebrate the signing of the Constitution and the American citizens who have devoted their lives to implementing the Framers' vision for the world's grandest and most successful experiment in self-government.

     The Founders understood that a self-governing republic requires a free and empowered citizenry.  We are therefore grateful that our Constitution is designed, first and foremost, to secure liberty.  Through a system of limited Government and checks and balances, the Constitution limits the ability of the State to become an obstacle to human flourishing, while simultaneously enabling the State to serve order, protect rights, and provide public goods.

     Since taking office, I have nominated two Justices to the Supreme Court of the United States who have exhibited a proven commitment to the Constitution.  I have also nominated and the Senate has confirmed 150 other Federal lower court judges who will faithfully interpret the Constitution and the laws of our Nation.  With appropriate respect for the genius of the Framers and in accordance with the rule of law, our Nation's Federal judges should always strive to interpret our laws, including our Constitution as written, regardless of any political or policy preferences they may hold in their capacity as citizens.

     The drafters of our Constitution were committed not to a king or Government but to a belief in the promise of America as a free and prosperous society.  To fulfill that promise, they designed a Government and a Constitution that could withstand the inevitable demagoguery, passions, and exigencies that would seek to unmake us as a people.  And though the durability of our Constitution has been tested through crises and wars, it has endured.  Today and throughout this week, we recognize the magnitude of the Constitution and the unparalleled success of the system of Government it helped create.

     The Congress, by joint resolution of February 29, 1952 (36 U.S.C. 106), designated September 17 as "Constitution Day and Citizenship Day," and by joint resolution of August 2, 1956 (36 U.S.C. 108), requested that the President proclaim the week beginning September 17 and ending September 23 of each year as "Constitution Week."

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 17, 2019, as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, and September 17, 2019, through September 23, 2019, as Constitution Week.  On this day and during this week, we celebrate the citizens and the Constitution that have made America the greatest Nation this world has ever known.  In doing so, we recommit ourselves to the enduring principles of the Constitution and thereby "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity."

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
sixteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.

                              DONALD J. TRUMP


1600 Daily The White House • September 16, 2019 Baseball legend Mariano Rivera awarded Medal of Freedom

1600 Daily
The White House • September 16, 2019

Baseball legend Mariano Rivera awarded Medal of Freedom ⚾

Today, President Donald J. Trump presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom—America’s highest civilian honor—to one of the best closers in American sports history, former New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera.

🎬 President Trump: He shines as an example of American greatness!

During 19 seasons in Major League Baseball, Rivera established himself as the greatest relief pitcher of all time. His legendary career began with the Yankees in 1990, with whom he became a 13-time All-Star and a 5-time World Series champion.

After hanging up the glove, Rivera became the first player in the history of the sport to be elected unanimously into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Off the field, Rivera is an incredible humanitarian and patriot. His Mariano Rivera Foundation, for example, has provided hundreds of scholarships and countless educational resources to underprivileged children.

Watch Rivera’s story of learning English: “I was the happiest man in baseball.”

In photos: See past recipients of the Medal of Freedom.

America’s economic miracle goes west

President Trump left for New Mexico this afternoon, the first stop of a three-day trip for the President out West. The timing couldn’t be better, as families across “the Land of Enchantment” feel the economic revival happening under this Administration.

New Mexico’s economy is flourishing, and it’s not difficult to see how—and when—it started happening. Since President Trump’s election, New Mexico’s unemployment rate has dropped from 6.5 percent to 4.9 percent. Nearly 35,000 jobs have been added in that span, many going to workers in the state’s blue-collar industries.

The state’s economic future looks bright, as well, with applications to start new businesses—the lifeblood of innovation and wage growth—up 29 percent in that time.

What explains the success? One reason is the rebirth of American industry under President Trump. One crucial sector to New Mexico’s economy, for example, is energy. In addition to general pro-growth policies such as tax cuts, the Trump Administration has prioritized removing burdens that used to weigh down American energy producers.

Today, crude oil production in New Mexico has skyrocketed more than 110 percent, hitting a record high last year. The state’s natural gas production has seen phenomenal growth, too, increasing by 40 percent since President Trump’s election.

These industries provide real value for middle-class families across America—and good-paying jobs for workers in places like New Mexico and elsewhere.

And as a border state, of course, no one knows firsthand more about the importance of real border security than New Mexico families and law enforcement officers. Otero County declared a state of emergency earlier this year while President Trump pressured Congress to help him address the security and humanitarian crisis at the border.

President Trump’s efforts are paying off, especially after successful negotiations led Mexico, Guatemala, and other countries to step up and do more to help American officials end the surge of illegal immigration and crime spilling across our border.

The border wall is going up fast!

Morning in America: Disadvantaged groups see biggest gains in Trump Economy!

Photo of the Day

Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian
President Donald J. Trump presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Baseball Legend Mariano Rivera in the East Room of the White House | September 16, 2019