State of the Union Address


State of the Union Address analysis

Domestic proposals Foreign proposals
·         Trump nominees in the Senate to be confirmed/recognized

·         $500 billion (10 years) to help HIV and cancer patients

·         Upgrading infrastructure

·         Health Care/Pharmacy price transparency

·         Restrictions on abortion

·         First Step Act: allow cooperative inmates to re-enter society as law-abiding citizens: reform sentencing injustice

·         Border wall

·         Imposed tariffs (matching tariff price between countries on same goods)


Cross-branch power dynamics:

According to several news networks, specifically CNBC here, states in that President Trump is more than willing to work and compromise with the Speaker and her House majority. In his SOTUA Trump claims that his agenda is not associated with any party, that it is the agenda of the American people and it will be governed as a nation. The President and the House majority agree on many proposals, some of which attempted to pass under democrats before the shutdown. From what I can gather, it seems both parties are on the same side regarding domestic remedies. These domestic proposals, listed in the table above, represent the welfare of all American citizens and do not discriminate to any ascriptive group. The House majority and Trump may have a harder time agreeing on foreign/immigration issues. The only foreign/commerce proposal that may pass through the House is to impose tariffs to other countries. If a country pins an unfair or high tariff on an American import, the government would then have the authority to match that same tariff price on the same or similar goods when exporting to that country. Immigration policies may force a compromise soon, hopefully before another shutdown. Trump proposed a new funding bill for the wall that is still pending approval; slated hopefully for mid-February. However, the President might have to compromise more than the House on this issue considering the Speaker won the shutdown debate, forcing Trump to rethink his wall agenda.

Executive Power:

While reading through the SOTUA transcript, no language or phrases stuck out to me that suggested reference to Trump’s executive power. However, I did some reading on the subject from USA Today here about the current state of power in the oval office. The main pitch of this article is that Trump’s executive power is out-of-check, but the greater executive power today stems from the office not the President. Today’s extreme use of executive power is a product of past presidencies, according to USA Today. Starting with FDR all the way up to G.W. Bush, the American people have increased their demands of action towards any holder of the oval office. Yes, I agree that Trump is going beyond his position’s power. Increasingly troubling is his mentioning of congressional oversight towards misused executive power. His actions, however, are at least attempts to answer demands of many citizens.


Democratic Response:

I am a bit confused on Stacey Abram’s rebuttal (this may be because I’m not very political and still have a lot to learn). Essentially, in my opinion, her rebuttal was set on stating how she is disappointed in the current administration because it is lying to its people regarding the state of the nation. She gave examples, some about how jobs are being lost and more and more families are living by paycheck. She states that the government shutdown was unethical and that although parties share different perspectives, both wings share the desire to protect and support its citizens. I agree with this, some people liked the shutdown. I didn’t see the point of it, unwillingness of both parties to compromise equally. What I don’t understand why Abrams stated Trump’s administration is failing on issues that the President had just suggested proposals for that same night. Mainly on domestic issues (see table), the President seems very ready to compromise and resolve those issues. The only issues that are creating partisan politics and debate is with immigration policies.  Some of Trump’s statements about his proposals are more or less accurate. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been added since January and (from CNN transcript) almost 5 million people are now working and off food stamps. To me, that seems like the economy is growing stronger and unemployment rates are lower for all races. Despite Trump delivering one of his better speeches, he did choose to omit controversial details regarding the unnecessary shutdown of our government and who it affected (unpaid government employees).

Comparing National and State Legislature agendas

Generally, I believe most domestic proposals are in the interest of the people and are not partisan. The only two proposals that are similar (categorically) between Michigan’s agenda and our nation’s is reforming health care affordability/research and revitalization of infrastructure.

One thought on “State of the Union Address”

  1. I enjoyed your essay. I appreciated the paragraph on Stacey Abrams, as I had not realized that she said Trump’s administration was failing on things he had proposals for in the SOTU Address. I do agree that this State of the Union Address was indeed one of Trump’s better speeches, although he left out important and controversial topics such as the shutdown. In your table, I would have added China Trade talks and maybe NAFTA on your foreign proposals side.

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