Published: Thu, February 07, 2019

State of the Union: Here's What to Expect from President Trump

State of the Union: Here's What to Expect from President Trump

Trump accepted no blame for his role in cultivating the rancorous atmosphere in the nation's capital, and he didn't outline a clear path for collaborating with Democrats who are eager to block his agenda.

The president's remarks previewed how he planned to defend himself as Democrats launch a flurry of investigations into his administration and personal finances.

But that message could be undermined with Trump threatening to go his own way on the wall, which he promised during his 2016 campaign, if he cannot get Congress to approve the funding he wants.

Asked on Tuesday if Trump would use the speech to announce an emergency, White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said the president "has an absolute right to do it" but would prefer that lawmakers forge a solution. He pushed his party into a lengthy government shutdown over border security, only to cave to Democrats. That has led Mr Trump to contemplate declaring a national emergency, which he says would let him reallocate funding from elsewhere without congressional action.

Pelosi replied to Trump the same day, telling him the House would not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing his address in the chamber until government reopened.

"I am asking you to defend our very unsafe southern border out of love and devotion to our fellow citizens and to our country", he said.

But the Great Recession ended during Obama's presidency, and Trump inherited a much better economy (even though, truth be told, most of the recovery has been at the top).

The president was surrounded by symbols of his emboldened political opposition.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has vowed not to give a penny to a Mexico border wall. Some Democratic women will be wearing white, the color favored by early 20th-century suffragettes. And several senators running for president were also in the audience, including Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey.

Another Democratic star, Stacey Abrams, delivered the party's response to Trump. In November, Abrams made a splash on the Georgia political scene when she ran and narrowly lost against Republican Brian Kemp.

Speaking from Atlanta, Abrams calls the shutdown a political stunt that "defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people, but our values".

Trump's address amounted to an opening argument for his re-election campaign. His approval rating stands at just 34 percent after the shutdown, according to a recent survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Despite the shutdown, the USA economy added a robust 304,000 jobs in January, marking 100 straight months of job growth.

"He'll likely share his perspective on why the shutdown happened and what we need to do to make our country safer", Vicino said.

In his State of the Union speech to a joint session of Congress, Trump said: "An economic miracle is taking place in the United States and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations".

The source said Trump would discuss troop drawdowns in Syria and Afghanistan and that about half the speech would be devoted to foreign policy.

He also hailed allied gains against Islamic State militants in Syria and reiterated his plan to withdraw USA troops from that war zone, despite comments earlier in the day from a top US general, Joseph Votel, that a USA pullout could prompt a resurgence in the militancy. Despite the objections of some advisers, Trump announced in December that he was withdrawing US forces in Syria. Several leading GOP lawmakers have sharply criticized his plans to withdraw from Syria, as well as from Afghanistan.

According to the White House, Joshua is an 11-year-old from Wilmington who has been bullied by his classmates because of his last name.

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