State of the Union

  1. Two-column table

President Trump mentioned specific legislative items that he wishes to sign during his address to the American people. These legislative items can be divided into two different categories: foreign and domestic policy.


 Foreign Policy      Domestic Policy

United States Reciprocal Trade Act Infrastructure Bill
Reducing presence in Afghanistan Prescription Drug Pricing Bill
NAFTA replaced by USMCA Border Wall Funding
Border Wall Funding Funding for HIV and childhood cancer
New abortion restrictions
Lowering cost of healthcare


  1. Discuss Power Dynamics

Due to a “divided government”, President Trump is faced with a new challenge in terms of the Democrats now controlling the House. Trump mentioned working with the Democrats several times throughout his address. “Now, Republicans and Democrats must join forces again to confront an urgent national crisis.” A statement made by the President referring to the “border crisis” that he believes requires immediate attention. Trump’s solution for this crisis is a Wall in which congress will not stand for. Surprisingly I detected language that hinted towards a willingness from Trump to compromise on this issue. With congress only having 10 days left at the time of the address to pass a bill for funding, Trump seemed a little more lenient than usual. “So let’s work together, compromise, and reach a deal that will truly make America safe.” A statement made by the President concluding his proposal.

It is said that each President adopts a particular view of the powers of their office. I believe that President Trump used language in his speech that offers clues into is view’s of the executive branch. He stated, “If I had not been elected President of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea with potentially millions of people killed.” He also stated “When I took office, ISIS controlled more than 20,000 square miles in Iraq and Syria. Today, we have liberated virtually all of that territory from the grip of these bloodthirsty killers.” These two statements obviously serve as evidence that President Trump believes that his executive branch gets the job done despite speculation from Congressional oversight.

Stacey Abrams delivered the Democratic Response this year. There were some major points of disagreement within the speech. The first point of disagreement dealt with the topic of immigration. Abrams pointed out that “We know bipartisanship could craft a 21st century immigration plan, but this administration chooses to cage children and tear families apart. Compassionate treatment at the border is not the same as open borders.” Another point of disagreement falls into the topic of healthcare with Stacey Abrams directly calling out the republican party, “Rather than suing to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, as Republican Attorneys General have, our leaders must protect the progress we’ve made and commit to expanding health care and lowering costs for everyone.” To be completely honest, I didn’t catch any issues that were up for compromise for the Democrats. Although it is important to add a particular statement Abrams made towards the end of her speech, “So even as I am very disappointed by the president’s approach to our problems – I still don’t want him to fail.” This is an important statement especially following the President’s very long government shutdown because it continues to support the image of the Democratic Party. The image that they are indeed “for the people” whether it be the American people, or the President.

III. Comparison to Your State Legislature

Trump’s State of the Union Address mentioned many legislative goals that can be compared and also contrasted with those of my state legislature. There are some issues that appeared on both agendas. One of those issues pertain to the ending of the Opioid epidemic which is obviously affecting all parts of America in the worst ways. Another issue on both agendas is the aim towards the improvement of economic development state and nation wide. Although some points on both agendas align, Trump failed to mention the improvement of  education and the closing of the gap between education and skills. This is a very important goal of my states legislature.

2 thoughts on “State of the Union”

  1. Seven, first of all great paper! You took a different approach than I did with the question about executive power, and I think your perspective there is really interesting. With regards to Stacey Abrams’ rebuttal however, I do feel like border security was a potential issue for compromise. While I completely agree Abrams is extremely critical of Trump’s approach, she does say “We know bipartisanship could craft a 21st-century immigration plan” and “Compassionate treatment at the border is not the same as open borders. President Reagan understood this. President Obama understood this. Americans understand this and the Democrats stand ready to effectively secure our ports and borders.” While there is most definitely room for disagreement here, I feel like that last sentence was about signaling that Democrats are open to compromise on practical border security initiatives.

  2. I think the point you made about how President Trump hints towards the views he has on the executive branch and how he believes if he wasn’t elected as the President, we would be in a major war with North Korea and millions would be killed. Also, the highlights of Stacey Abrams’ rebuttal to the SOTU that you had in your paper were very good and relevant. Overall, this is a very good paper.

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