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Trump’s scheme of things: Health care, border, jobs top priorities

US President-elect Donald Trump visited Congress on Thursday and proclaimed that health care, border security and jobs will be his top three priorities.

world Updated: Nov 11, 2016 08:35 IST
AFP
US President-elect Donald Trump speaks to the press following a meeting at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on Thursday.
US President-elect Donald Trump speaks to the press following a meeting at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on Thursday.(AFP Photo)

US President-elect Donald Trump visited Congress on Thursday and proclaimed that health care, border security and jobs will be his top three priorities when he moves to the White House next January.

Continuing a Washington victory tour of sorts after his presidential election shocked the world, Trump and Vice president-elect Mike Pence sat down with House Speaker Paul Ryan and then with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to discuss the Republican priorities in Congress.

Ryan and Trump had a testy relationship during the campaign, with the House speaker last month saying he would not defend the nominee after Trump’s lewd comments about women were made public.

Now that Trump is the president-elect, Ryan appeared friendly and gracious as they met, first over lunch and then in his Capitol office.

“We had a very detailed meeting,” Trump told reporters at a brief photo spray.

“As you know, health care -- we’re going to make it affordable. We are going to do a real job on health care,” he said.

Trump made repealing Obamacare, and building a border wall between the United States and Mexico, pillars of his presidential campaign.

US President-elect Donald Trump speaks to the press with his wife Melania and House Speaker Paul Ryan at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on November 10, 2016. (AFP Photo)

Trump said he and the Republican majority in Congress were going to accomplish “absolutely spectacular things for the American people,” adding he was eager to get started.

Afterwards, following an hour-long meeting with McConnell on the other side of the Capitol, Trump stood at the Senate majority leader’s side and stressed that “we have a lot to do.”

“We’re going to look very strongly at immigration,” he said.

“We’re going to look very strongly at health care, and we’re looking at jobs -- big league jobs.”

Trump did not elaborate.

McConnell said they discussed the transition operations and said “he’s anxious to get going early, and so are we.”

Ryan for his part complimented Trump on his astounding come-from-behind victory against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“We’re going to turn that victory into progress for the American people, and we are now talking about how we are going to hit the ground running to get this country turned around and make America great again,” Ryan said.

Congress returns to work next week, after an extended break for the US elections.

Obama meets Trump

Barack Obama and Donald Trump put acerbic rows and profound differences aside in a 90-minute transition meeting at the White House Thursday, hoping to quell fears about the health of the world’s pre-eminent democracy.

The outgoing president and his successor met one-on-one and sat in high-backed chairs before the Oval Office fireplace, for what Obama characterized as an “excellent conversation.”

President-elect Donald Trump (L) talks after a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama (R) in the Oval Office November 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. (AFP Photo)

Trump -- who previously called Obama the “most ignorant president in our history” -- said it was a “great honor” meeting with the US leader, adding that he looked forward to receiving the president’s counsel.

Obama -- who previously said Trump was a whiner and “uniquely unqualified” to be commander-in-chief -- vowed his support.

“I want to emphasize to you, Mr. President-elect, that we now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed, then the country succeeds,” Obama told Trump

The two men ended the improbable and historic White House encounter with a handshake and refused to take questions

“Here’s a good rule. Don’t answer questions when they just start yelling,” Obama told Trump, referring to the press.

Read more| Meeting of many firsts: Obama has ‘excellent’ talks with Trump at White House