President Donald Trump gave his first official State of the Union address tonight to a joint session of Congress. Trump addressed a number of issues important to Americans, including national security, jobs, immigration, and the economy. If you weren’t able to watch his speech live, you can rewatch the entire thing above. A senior administration official told reporters before the speech Trump would be “speaking from the heart” tonight and his theme would be about “building a safe, strong and proud America.” Trump talked about tax cuts, rolling back regulations, and how these changes have affected the economy. The broad theme for Trump’s speech, officials said, was “U.S. engagement in the world.”
After Trump spoke, Rep. Joe Kennedy will deliver the Democrats’ official response to the State of the Union. He was expected to deliver his response from his home state rather than attending the speech in person, The Washington Post reported. Elizabeth Guzman, a member of the Virginia state legislature, will also deliver a Spanish-language response, officially sponsored by the Democrats. But Progressives delivered responses of their own, official or not. Sen. Bernie Sanders will also give a response to the State of the Union via social media. Rep. Maxine Waters from California will give a response during a BET news special. And Donna F. Edwards, a former Maryland Congresswoman, will give an address for the Working Families Party.
Both the Republicans and Democrats brought guests to tonight’s State of the Union. President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced that the following guests would be seated with the First Lady during the speech: Corey Adams (a welder); Elizabeth Alvarado, Robert Mickens, Evelyn Rodriguez, and Freddy Cuevas (parents of girls murdered by MS-13); Corporal (Ret.) Matthew Bradford (blinded by shrapnel and lost both his legs in Iraq, then reenlisted); Jon Bridgers (founded the Cajun Navy); David Dahlberg (a fire prevention technician); Officer Ryan Holets (police officer who’s been shot twice); Ashlee Leppert (aviation electronics technician who rescued Americans during hurricanes); Agent Celestino “CJ” Martinez (supervisory special agent for Homeland Security); Staff Sergeant Justin Peck (U.S. Army, saved an officer struck by an IED); Preston Sharp (organized flags at veterans’ graves); and Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger (started Staub Manufacturing Solutions).
The Democrats’ guests during the SOTU included: Chessy Prout (victim of sexual assault and guest of Rep. Annie Kuster); dozens of young immigrants who are part of the DACA program, including Karen Bahena, Melody Klingenfuss, and Nicolle Uria; and Cindy Garcia (her husband was deported after 30 years in the U.S., guest of Rep. Debbie Dingell).