President Trump will give his first State of the Union address Tuesday, a speech the White House said is themed “building a safe, strong, and proud America.” The president is expected to highlight Republicans’ tax reform legislation and other first-year accomplishments, though White House aides told The Associated Press Trump will “set aside his more combative tone for one of compromise.”
For many GOP lawmakers, hopes for the night are subdued. “I hope the speech is uneventful in a good way,” said Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.). “Last year, he addressed Congress and that speech was reasonably measured. I hope that is what happens again.” Trump’s talk before a joint session of Congress last year was not officially considered a SOTU.
The Democratic rebuttal will be given by Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.). “From health care to economic justice to civil rights, the Democratic agenda stands in powerful contrast to President Trump’s broken promises to American families,” he said in a statement anticipating his address. “Our vision for this union is guided by a simple belief that equality and economic dignity should be afforded to every American.” Though he hails from one of America’s most famous political families, Kennedy is relatively unknown on the national stage.