Recapping the State of the Union

Lawrence Jackson (

By Lawrence Jackson ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Gavin Kuncl, Writer

Tuesday, Jan. 30 President Donald Trump gave his first State of the Union address to the United States.

To give a State of the Union address, the president has to be invited to speak. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) invited President Trump to speak far back on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. The tradition was started by President Woodrow Wilson in 1913 and adopted the title of “State of the Union” in 1947.

The president’s speech was geared towards the spirit of bipartisanship, or cooperation between both parties. The president has been quoted as saying, “Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people.” Forty-five million viewers tuned in to watch, a slight decrease from his first joint session speech. In a CNN poll, 60 percent saying he focused on the right things, though only 42 percent said they thought the president was capable of carrying out his duties.   CNN also advises readers that these polls tend to be slanted slightly as an uneven number of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents were surveyed.

His planned outline for a second-year agenda centered around immigration, infrastructure, and economic progression, but touched on other topics.  The president talked about his commitment to the economy and spoke about reducing the regulatory burdens that hinder small businesses and investing in infrastructure projects. The president also referenced a plan to provide a path to citizenship to the 1.8 million undocumented young people living in the United States, who have been referred to as Dreamers. He proposed offering citizenship to the DACA recipients and asked for funding for the border wall between the United States and Mexico.

A number of guests appeared during the State of the Union, including Ji Seong-ho, a North Korean deserter who raised his makeshift crutches that helped him escape during the address. Another group of guests was the parents of Otto Warmbier. Warmbier was a University of Virginia student who was arrested and tortured to death by the North Korean Regime. Both have appeared to draw the hostility of Pyongyang as the North Korean capital described the State of the Union as “…intolerable provocation.”

At least 12 Democrats boycotted the president’s address, which is far fewer than the 60 who boycotted his inauguration.


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