North Texas Delegation Prepares for President's Address

Members of the North Texas delegation in Congress are preparing to attend President Donald Trump's address Tuesday night.

Trump is proposing a huge $54 billion surge in U.S. military spending for new aircraft, ships and fighters in his first federal budget while slashing big chunks from domestic programs and foreign aid to make the government "do more with less."

These numbers are out a day before the president's first speech to a joint session of Congress. NBC 5 asked U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, about what he wants to see in the president's first speech.

"Perhaps more importantly, somebody, that if they're going to break glass, they're going to take responsibility for the direction they're going. And the bottom line is, we do have to break glass. We have to move from one direction that we were headed, to a free market opportunity. That's what the stock market is saying. That's what the American people are saying. And that's what we want to be held accountable for. So, I want to see the President of the United States Donald Trump and the leader of our party," Sessions said.

The Trump blueprint, due in more detail next month, would fulfill the Republican president's campaign pledge to boost Pentagon spending while targeting the budgets of other federal agencies. The "topline" figures emerged Monday, one day before Trump's first address to a joint session of Congress, an opportunity to re-emphasize the economic issues that were a centerpiece of his White House run.

Domestic programs and foreign aid would as a whole absorb a 10 percent, $54 billion cut from currently projected levels -- cuts that would match the military increase. The cuts would be felt far more deeply by programs and agencies targeted by Trump and his fellow Republicans, like the Environmental Protection Agency as well as foreign aid. Veterans' programs would be exempted, as would border security, additional law enforcement functions and some other areas.

Trump's speech comes after his executive order on immigration. The order, which has been challenged in the courts, halted refugee resettlement from refugee countries for three months.

U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, has invited a North Texas Syrian refugee to attend the speech with him.

Tamam Al Sharaa and Bothina Matar came to North Texas with their two children in 2015.

"It is beyond shameful that Republican elected officials and our president want to slam the door on refugees escaping violence. We can maintain America's humanitarian leadership while keeping our nation safe, and Tamam and Bothina's story highlights the positive result when we uphold both these ideals. Refugees like Tamam and Bothina are examples of the hope and contributions immigrants bring to their new homes," Veasey said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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