Thank you very much, Madam Speaker, Vice President, members of Congress, the first lady of the United States. And my fellow Americans. We meet tonight at a moment of unlimited potential, as we begin a new Congress, I stand here ready to work with you to achieve historic breakthroughs for all Americans. Millions of our fellow citizens are watching us, gathered in this great chamber, hoping we will govern not as two parties, but as one nation.
The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican agenda or Democrat agenda; it is the agenda of the American people. Many of us have campaigned on the same core promises, to defend American jobs and demand fair trade for American workers, to rebuild and revitalize our nation's infrastructure, to reduce the price of health care and prescription drugs, to create an immigration system that is safe, lawful, modern and secure, and to pursue a foreign policy that puts America's interests first. There is a new opportunity in American politics, if only we have the courage together to seize it. Victory is not winning for our party; victory is winning for our country.
This year, America will recognize two important anniversaries that show us the majesty of America's vision and the power of American pride. In June, we marked 75 years since the start of what General Dwight D Eisenhower called "the great crusade," the allied liberation of Europe in World War II.
On D-Day, June 6, 1944, 15,000 young American men jumped from the skies, and 60,000 more stormed in from the sea to save our civilization from tyranny. Here with us tonight are three of those incredible heroes. Private first class Joseph Riley, staff Sergeant Erving Walker — and Sergeant Sartman Zeitcheck. Gentlemen, we salute you.
In 2019, we also celebrate 50 years since brave young pilots flew 1 million miles through space to plant the American flag on the face of the moon. Half a century later, we are joined by one of the Apollo 11 astronauts who planted that flag, Buzz Aldrin. Thank you, Buzz. This year, American astronauts will go back to space in American rockets.
Now, we must step boldly and bravely into the next chapter of this great American adventure. We must create a new standard of living for the 21st century. An amazing quality of life for all of our citizens is within reach. We can make our communities safer, our families stronger, our culture richer, our faith deeper, and our middle class bigger and more prosperous than ever before.
But we must reject the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution, and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise, and the common good.
Together we can break decades of political stalemate. We can bridge all divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America's future. The decision is ours to make. We must choose between greatness or gridlock, results or resistance, vision or vengeance, incredible progress or pointless destruction.Tonight, I ask you to choose greatness.
Over the last two years, my administration has moved with an urgency and historic speed to confront problems neglected by leaders of both parties over many decades. In just over two years since the election, we have launched an unprecedented economic boom, a boom that has rarely been seen before. There has been nothing like it.
Wages are rising at the fastest pace in decades, and growing for blue-collar workers, who promise to fight for. They are growing faster than anyone else. Nearly 5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps.
The U.S. economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office, and we are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world. Not even close. Unemployment has reached the lowest rate in over half a century. African-American, Hispanic-American, and Asian-American unemployment have all reached their lowest levels ever recorded. Unemployment for Americans with disabilities has also reached an all-time low.