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Trump calls for ending budget sequester: The United States faces myriad dangers from rogue regimes and global competitors, and the nation must have a strong defense to discourage these rivals and forge a world of peace, President Donald J. Trump said in his State of the Union address last night.

The president said these regimes — including China and Russia — “challenge our interests, our economy and our values.”

A strong defense is necessary to deter adversaries, the president told a joint session of Congress. “For this reason, I am asking the Congress to end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military,” Trump said.

Sequestration is a provision of the Budget Control Act of 2011 that imposes across-the-board spending cuts if Congress and the White House cannot agree on more targeted options.

The president stressed that the United States must modernize and rebuild the nation’s nuclear triad to make it so powerful that it will deter any thought of aggression by any country. “Perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons,” he said. “Unfortunately, we are not there yet, sadly.”

CAMPAIGN TO DEFEAT ISIS

Trump also discussed the campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. “Last year, I also pledged that we would work with our allies to extinguish ISIS from the face of the Earth,” he said. “One year later, I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated very close to 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria and in other locations as well. But there is much more work to be done. We will continue our fight until ISIS is defeated.”

The president singled out Army Staff Sgt. Justin Peck, who fought against ISIS in Raqqa, Syria. Peck was part of a team clearing a hospital of improvised explosive devices when one exploded, seriously wounding Navy Chief Petty Officer Kenton Stacy. Peck “bounded into the booby-trapped building and found Kenton in bad shape,” the president said. “He applied pressure to the wound and inserted a tube to reopen an airway. He then performed CPR for 20 straight minutes during the ground transport and maintained artificial respiration through two and a half hours of emergency surgery. Read more

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