President Donald Trump will deliver his second State of the Union Address and third address overall to a joint session of Congress tonight. The Address is scheduled to begin at 9p.m. ET. and will be televised on all major U.S. networks.
Here is what to watch for in the President’s Address:
Border security and the national emergency declaration
Trump is expected to once again pitch his case for border wall funding on the country’s Southern border and possibly discuss the idea of declaring a national emergency if Congress doesn’t appropriate wall funding. However, Trump is not expected to formally declare a national emergency, only reaffirm that it’s an option the White House is considering.
Shift in power
Aside from the border wall talk, expect Trump to speak in a bipartisan tone of unity from time to time. Democrats now control the House, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be sitting behind Trump during the Address.
Pelosi had barred Trump from delivering the Address in the House Chambers last month during the 35-day partial government shutdown. The two leaders agreed to on Jan. 28 host the speech tonight, one week later than its previously scheduled date.
With the new Democratic majority and a divided – both politically and emotionally – Congress overall, does Trump try to once again pitch his $1.5 trillion infrastructure proposal we heard last year? Both Republicans and Democrats have been on-board with similar legislation in the past, but how to pay for it remains the sticking point.
The president traditionally hits on key achievements, so Trump is expected to tout the booming economy and the successes of tax reform once again. But a shift to foreign policy is likely, as well. The U.S. is currently in talks with North Korea for a second summit between Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un in as many years. The meeting held in June 2018 in Singapore was the first-ever between leaders of the two nations.
Once the address is over, the Democratic Response will immediately follow. Defeated Democratic Georgia gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams will deliver that address. Abrams is a rising star in the Democratic Party, and in 2018 became the first black female majority-party gubernatorial nominee in U.S. history.