Trade- Reciprocal Trade Act
National security- military buildup
Taking on the problem of “global freeloading and delivers fairness and price transparency for American patients”
Try for peace in Middle East- bringing troops home
Lowering cost of health care and prescription drugs-protecting people with pre-existing conditions
Fighting AIDS, childhood cancer, late term abortions
Throughout the speech President Trump used bipartisan cooperative language. For instance, he starts off the speech suggesting that America “is at a moment of unlimited potential” as this new session of Congress begins. He goes on to say that millions of fellow citizens are watching in the hopes that the United States “will govern not as two parties but as one Nation.” He then says that his agenda isn’t a Republican or a Democrat agenda, rather “the agenda of the American people.” This bipartisan rhetoric is extremely important for our nation because politics has gotten so polarized in America. In today’s age, people are so invested in party politics that they do not see that both parties present good ideas that could advance our society in a positive way. Furthermore, “gridlock” occurs when members of Congress only vote the way their party tells them to, which results in political stagnation. Trump cites bipartisan legislation dealing with the opioid crisis, veterans reform, and criminal justice reform, to show that Congress can accomplish great things when working together. He then suggests that Congress must continue to work together to keep this great progress going.
Language that hinted at Trump’s views of Congressional oversight of the executive branch was his alluding to the Mueller investigation. Trump says that the only things that could stop America’s economic miracle are “foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations.” He then says, “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way. We must be united at home to defeat our adversaries abroad.” These quotes suggest that Trump views Congressional oversight as an impediment to the progression of our nation. It seems like he is saying that, in order for Congress to accomplish things for the American people, they must focus on issues concerning our society, rather than his own potential misdoings. Furthermore, if Congress is rallying against him, and America doesn’t work as a collective, then foreign powers could more easily take advantage of us. Trump expresses his views on the importance of Congress by stating, “think of this Capitol- think of this very chamber, where lawmakers before you voted to end slavery, to build railroads and the highways, to defeat fascism, to secure civil rights, to face down an evil empire.” Through this language, Trump shows the great things that Congress has done, and then he suggests that even greater things can be accomplished if Congress works together.
In the response by the Democratic Party, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams mostly disagreed with the President. However, some of what she said highlighted issues with a potential for compromise. A major point of disagreement with the President that Abrams suggests was Trumps hardline on immigration. She claimed that America thrives with the “presence of immigrants, not walls.” It seems that Abrams and the Democratic party disagree with the idea they believe a wall would symbolize, rather than its functionality. Whereas Trump believes a wall to be an effective means of securing the border regardless of the message it may send to immigrants. However, Abrams called for a “bipartisan 21st century immigration plan,” which presumably would cover some sort of border security. Additionally, Abrams blamed the President for the government shutdown, calling it a political stunt. Abrams suggested that it must be through Congress “coming together, not shutting down” to keep our government functioning.
The legislative agenda outlined during the SOTUA and the agenda outlined in my state legislature is similar in some regards. The major similarity is combating the drug epidemic. Trump spoke about how illegal drugs are destroying many communities across the country. In West Virginia, both illegal drugs, and certain prescription drugs such as painkillers are destroying our community. Another issue that appeared in both agendas is the need for lower prescription medications. This is a major problem in West Virginia as well, because people often can’t afford certain medications, so they turn to the “street” to obtain drugs that are often dangerous and addictive.