Preview of Tonight’s State of the Union
President Trump is scheduled to deliver his first State of the Union address tonight. Below is a preview of what to expect from tonight’s speech.
Time: The speech is scheduled to begin at 9 PM EST and will be broadcast on all major networks and cable news providers. The speech has no set end-time, but the speech traditionally lasts about one hour. According to the American Presidency Project, the shortest State of the Union was delivered by Ronald Reagan, whose speech clocked in at 31 minutes. The longest was delivered by Bill Clinton, who delivered an 88-minute State of the Union in his final year in office.
Topics: Even as budget negotiations are ongoing, immigration is likely to be the most discussed subject of the evening, with the issue representing a wedge between Republicans and Democrats that has stalled progress on a long-term funding deal. These tensions will be heightened by the decision of several dozen Democrat lawmakers to bring as guests DACA recipients as a protest against the President’s immigration policies. Other Democrat lawmakers, including Reps. John Lewis (D-GA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and Jan Shakowsky (D-IL) have announced they will skip the speech entirely.
The president is also expected to tout strong economic growth as a victory of his administration, as well as echoing the “America-first” theme he adopted at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this past Friday. The speech will also be the platform from which the president is expected to unveil his infrastructure proposal.
Immediately after the President’s speech, the Democratic response (a coveted and high-profile responsibility traditionally used by both parties to informally test potential presidential contenders on a national stage) will be delivered by Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA), a three-term Congressman and the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy.
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