Trump stresses unity in State of the Union
by Harvest Prude
Posted 2/06/19, 10:24 am
WASHINGTON—Facing a divided Congress for the remainder of his first term in office, President Donald Trump called for bipartisan cooperation in his second State of the Union address Tuesday night. The president presented a number of potentially unifying issues, including infrastructure, lowering prescription drug prices, combating childhood cancer, and ending the HIV epidemic in the next 10 years. His speech garnered several displays of bipartisan support: Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle offered a standing ovation for astronaut Buzz Aldrin, sang to Holocaust and mass shooting survivor Judah Samet for his 81st birthday, and broke into chants of “USA” when Trump praised the accomplishments of women in the workforce and in Congress. But the president did not shy away from divisive topics. Republicans rose to their feet when he pledged that “America will never be a socialist country” and called for an end to late-term abortions. Female Democratic House members, wearing white to represent 20th century suffragettes, listened stone-faced to his pro-life comments.
Trump discouraged the Democratic-led House from launching investigations against him, declaring, “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation.” He also continued to make his case for a wall along the U.S. southern border but did not declare a national emergency to fund the wall without congressional support. The government will again partially shutdown if lawmakers do not reach a compromise on border security funding by Feb. 15.
In the latter half of the speech, the president focused on foreign policy, criticizing “endless wars” and calling for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria and Afghanistan. He also announced he would meet again with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a late February summit in Vietnam.
Stacey Abrams delivered the Democratic rebuttal speech from Georgia, where she lost her bid to become America’s first black female governor in November. Abrams emphasized voting rights, immigration reform, and asked that Trump “tell the truth … respect his duties and the extraordinary diversity that defines America.”
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Harvest is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute and a reporter for WORLD.