President Trump will deliver his second State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the House of Representatives on Tuesday night February 5th, amid a turbulent start to the year marked by the longest government shutdown in history. House speaker Nancy Pelosi will be sitting just above Trump’s left shoulder, next to Vice President Mike Pence.
With the threat of another government shutdown looming, Trump is certain to address his concerns about border security and immigration, and to explain how a wall is the right fix for those problems. The president has addressed the nation twice on those issues in recent weeks and he is likely to repeat those speeches' focus on crime prevention and drug interdiction.
According to an excerpt of the speech released by the White House, Trump plans to call for unity and bipartisan cooperation.
A senior administration official involved in planning for the event told 7Dnews that President Trump plans to use his Tuesday night State of the Union speech to call for an end to America's wars and to bring troops home. The speech "will include a significant section on national security. Specifics are still being discussed but the speech is expected to touch on troop drawdowns and diplomatic shifts," the senior official said.
Some issues could get bipartisan applause lines, like lowering prescription drug prices and pressuring China on its trade policies.
“Together we can break decades of political stalemate, we can bridge old 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,” Trump will say, according the official.
President Trump and House speaker Nancy Pelosi have clashed for the past two months over the president’s demand that the Congress approve $5.7 billion for his wall on the southern border. The knock-down, drag-out fight shut down the government for a record 35 days, furloughing 800,000 federal workers, sparking delays at airports and delaying Republicans’ and Democrats’ annual policy retreats.
The State of the Union speech itself became a hostage in the Trump-Pelosi firefight. Pelosi invited and then disinvited Trump to deliver his annual address amid the shutdown. Trump threatened to come to Capitol Hill anyway on January 29th, launching an unprecedented standoff between the executive and legislative branches.
In American history, the State of the Union was not a speech at all, but a written address submitted annually to Congress. But this appears to be the first time in history that a president was forced to delay the address over a standoff with Congress.