A State of the Union lesson plan: Everything to know for tonight
Tonight, February 5th, President Donald Trump will deliver his second full State of the Union address. This year, Trump will give his speech before a Congress that has shifted dramatically, with a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives for the first time in his term. The 2019 State of the Union has already been the subject of controversy, with a partial government shutdown causing it to be delayed. Here’s what you can expect for tonight.
When will the State of the Union be held, and where can you watch it?
According to USA Today, Trump will address the nation at 9 p.m. ET. The speech will be broadcast live on all major TV networks and cable news stations, as well as on C-SPAN. You can also stream it on The White House website or on Facebook.
What will Trump talk about?
The New York Times notes that, like last year, the president is expected to make a call for unity in his address and talk about infrastructure. Trump will also probably make the case for his border wall, and he could also call for a way to help Dreamers who were brought to the U.S. as young children. NYT also reports that he is likely to speak out against abortion.
The president is also reportedly planning to unveil a plan to end the transmission of HIV by 2030 by targeting the communities with the highest incidence of the virus. As Politico points out, Trump’s track record on AIDS leaves a lot to be desired; he fired his HIV/AIDS advisory panel in January 2018 and didn’t replace them until a year later.
Who are this year’s guests?
Trump’s guests of honor at tonight’s address will include Alice Johnson, who was granted clemency earlier this year after serving decades in prison for a drug offense. Also to attend: a survivor of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting, the family of a couple killed by an undocumented immigrant, and a 6th grader bullied for having the last name Trump.
Democratic lawmakers have also invited guests, several of whom stand in opposition to Trump’s agenda. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has invited an activist who went viral for confronting Senator Jeff Flake during the Kavanaugh hearings. And Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has invited a transgender naval officer.
What happens after the speech?
At around 10:30 ET, Democrats will have a chance to respond to the main address. NPR reports that Stacey Abrams, who ran for governor of Georgia in 2018 and lost by a razor-thin margin of 55,000 votes, will tackle the response. She is the first black woman to ever deliver a State of the Union rebuttal.
Regardless of your own beliefs, watching the State of the Union is a useful way to stay informed. We’ll definitely be watching Trump’s speech—and Abrams’ rebuttal—tonight.