Short Writing Assignment #3


Legislative Proposals

Domestic Foreign
An infrastructure bill U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement
Prohibition of late-term abortion United States Reciprocal Trade Act
Lower prescription drug prices  
Border wall funding  


During his 2019 State of the Union address, President Trump mentioned working with Democrats and bipartisanship on multiple occasions, which felt rather in contrast to his prior speeches. One of the first issues he briefly mentioned as part of his nonpartisan “American” agenda was infrastructure. Trump mentioned how the issue of our “crumbling infrastructure” should be important to both parties, and clarified that it is important for him as well. While Trump didn’t express being open to compromise, he did emphasize the middle ground between him and Democrats which also felt different from the past. In a fairly predictable move, Trump also asked Democrats and Republicans to come together and address what he described as an “urgent national crisis” of illegal immigration at our southern border. In addition to advocating for a steel barrier, Trump mentioned the need for additional investment in other areas which Democrats have been more supportive of like further drug detection at ports of entry. I think the fact that Trump has come such a long way from his campaign promise of a concrete wall across the entire border shows he is open to some compromise. Trump also signaled his interest in working with Democrats on healthcare issues, by calling for lower drug prices and protections for patients with pre-existing conditions. Beyond those healthcare issues, Trump called for additional funding to eradicate HIV and AIDS, and childhood cancer. While Democrats and Republicans may disagree on exactly how to achieve these goals, these are all fairly bipartisan issues.

Regarding his view of executive power, Trump spoke out against checks and balances by saying “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way!” Obviously referring to existing and potential investigations into him and his campaign, this statement seemed in-line with Trump’s willingness to shut the government down as bargaining power to get his way, and his general distaste with any oversight. His address in general however did emphasize bipartisanship which makes sense given how Republicans lost control of the house. Additionally, I think it was significant that Trump did not mention an executive order to fund his border wall like he had previously talked about. I think this does signal some understanding of the limitations of executive power by Trump and his administration.

One of Stacey Abrams’ main criticisms of Trump was using his self-proclaimed shut down to get his way politically. She described the shutdown as “a stunt, engineered by the president of the United States, one that betrayed every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people but our values.” Abrams also directly contradicted Trump by saying his tax bill “rigged the system against working people” while Trump said “We passed a massive tax cut for working families”. While her speech was primarily a rebuke of President Trump, there was some common ground between them. Specifically, Abrams mentioned rising prescription drug prices, and Democrats’ willingness to support secure borders. While she did speak out against Trump’s wall, she expressed that compassionate treatment at the border doesn’t necessarily mean open borders. Finally, Abrams criticized Trump for his stance on abortion and women’s rights.


            First of all, this is assuming the comparison is to Part II of Short Writing Assignment I. Back home in Pennsylvania my state legislative representatives are both Democrats so their agendas are slightly different from President Trump’s. Trump placed an emphasis on oil when talking about energy, but my state representatives are both more in favor of renewable energy. Trump portrayed illegal immigration as being a divisive issue of high importance to working class Americans, but this issue doesn’t really seem to be very significant in Pennsylvania. The main point of intersection I found was with healthcare and drug prices, which is becoming an important issue for both Democrats and Republicans regardless of geography.

One thought on “Short Writing Assignment #3”

  1. I really liked how you used the quote “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation” because when I heard him say that it immediately stood out as the biggest rebuke of congressional oversight. Also I was shocked that he did not announce he would use to an executive order to fund the wall but you can tell he alluded to his declaration of a national emergency when he said “In the past, most of the people in this room voted for a wall –the proper wall never got built.I’ll get it built.” Overall, I really enjoyed your piece.

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