President Trump addressed the nation on Tuesday evening in his State of the Union speech. Traditionally the SOTU speech is held in January, but after a fierce shutdown over border wall funding, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi rescinded her invitation, suggesting that the annual speech should be held once the government shutdown was over.
Almost immediately, President Trump underlined some important topics that he believes both Republicans and Democrats can find some common ground on. Among those issues are efforts to lower the price of prescription drugs and healthcare, create more jobs and repair infrastructure, fair trade with foreign nations, and “safe, lawful, modern immigration policies that put Americans first,” as Trump put it.
Furthermore, he mentioned the 75th anniversary of D-Day, where he recognized some of those veterans whom Trump had invited that evening. The other anniversary approaching in 2019 is the 50th anniversary since the American moon landing, and Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin was also invited and recognized during the address. Furthermore, Trump stated that “this year, Americans will go back to space on American rockets,” which received an applause from the audience. Additionally, he believes that an “amazing quality of life” is within reach, but it can only be achieved if politics of revenge are rejected and unity embraced.
After his opening, Trump touted his administration’s success over the past two years. He praised the booming American economy, which has created 1.3 million jobs, raised wages for the blue-collar worker, lifted 5 million off of food stamps, squashed unemployment rate to the lowest in American history for African, Hispanic, and Asian Americans along with those with disabilities. He touted the elimination of regulations, praised the American energy industry, noting that the U.S. is now a net exporter of natural gas, and proclaimed that America’s economy is the envy of the world and that our military is the strongest on Earth. “Members of Congress,” said Trump. “The state of our Union is strong.”
He requested that the Senate would come together to hold hearings for 300 nominees, but also praised Congress for coming together on the opioid crisis, veteran’s accountability measures, and criminal justice reform where Trump recognized Alice Johnson as a victim of harsh sentencing for non-violent crimes. He reiterated his demand for a border wall and slammed the new caravan marching towards the U.S.
Strikingly, many of the female Democratic Congresswomen dressed in white outfits for women’s suffrage. When Trump listed some of the achievements for women, the chamber broke into small celebration. However, later in his address, Trump decried the legislation passed in New York and the statements by Virginia governor Ralph Northam regarding abortion. He called for Congress to prohibit late-term abortions, create a culture that embraces innocent life, and he recognized that “all children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God.” This was celebrated by the GOP but adamantly rejected by the Democrats.
Trump continued by touting some of America’s recent foreign, rejecting the socialist policies, and the House chamber singing “Happy Birthday” to a Holocaust and Synagogue shooting survivor. He wrapped up the address by asking America to choose greatness, and that “no matter the challenges to come, we must go forward together.”