President Donald Trump on Tuesday night will give his second State of the Union address, one week after he originally was invited to deliver it but didn’t because of the longest-ever government shutdown.
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It will be the first State of the Union address Trump delivers before a divided Congress. Last year, the Senate and House were controlled by the president’s own Republican party. This year, Democrats re-took the House.
Trump will also be delivering his address to a House chamber filled with more women and people of color than ever before.
The speech comes at a particularly tense period for Trump and Congress as it’s been just a week since the government reopened after a 35-day shutdown and there are only 10 days until the government will shut down yet again if the president and Congress don’t come to an agreement on border security.
The president, according to a senior White House official, is expected to discuss immigration along with other topics seen as key parts of his agenda: middle-class American workers, improving infrastructure, lowering the cost of health care and prescription drugs, and national security.
The Democratic response, which follows the speech, will come from Stacey Abrams, a rising star in the Party who ran for governor of Georgia in 2018.
Abrams will be the first African-American woman to give the speech responding to the presidential address, according to all archival research on the speech from both the House and Senate historian offices.
Here’s how to watch the State of the Union:
What: President Trump’s State of the Union address
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019
Time: 9 p.m. ET
TV: On your local ABC station
Live stream: Watch the State of the Union on ABC News Live can be viewed on the abcnews.com site and phone apps, as well as on Roku, Hulu, Facebook, AppleTV and Amazon Fire TV.
Follow along for live updates below.
8:30 p.m.: ABC News’ partner FiveThirtyEight begins their live blog of the speech.
Follow their live analysis of Trump’s speech here.
8:30 p.m.: Read excerpts from the president’s speech
The White House has released excerpts from the president’s speech. The excerpts show themes of unity, though Democrats have questioned if that’ll show through in the speech.
Read them below:
“Together, we can break decades of political stalemate. We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make.”
“We have unleashed a revolution in American Energy – the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world.”
“After 24 months of rapid progress, our economy is the envy of the world, our military is the most powerful on earth, and America is winning each and every day.”
“No issue better illustrates the divide between America’s WORKING CLASS and America’s POLITICAL CLASS than illegal immigration. Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards.”
8:01 p.m.: The speech starts at 9 p.m. Here are some of the stories ABC News is watching.
Stacey Abrams is set to make history as the first African American woman to give a response to the State of the Union address, per available research from the House and Senate historian offices. More here.
The pool of choices for the “designated survivor” — the Cabinet member who doesn’t attend the State of the Union in case an attack or disaster leaves top government officials gathered there incapacitated — is smaller this year because of the many vacancies in the administration. Read more here.
Who’s in the audience tonight? Read more about the guests who are attending to make a political statement here.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will sit behind Trump for the whole speech — one of the first times the public will see them together in a while. Here’s more on what that might look like, and other moments to watch for.
Here’s a look at how the day unfolded in the lead-up to the speech:
Supreme Court Justices John Roberts, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to attend speech
The four justices will attend the speech Tuesday night, a court official told ABC News.
Justices are not required to attend the presidential address but, by tradition, several do participate each year to represent the third, co-equal branch of government.
This will be the first State of the Union for Kavanaugh, Trump’s newest appointment to the court, and the first time both Kavanaugh and Gorsuch will be together in the chamber before Trump. Trump nominated Gorsuch to the court in 2016.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who made her first public appearance Monday night after cancer surgery in December, will not attend the address. She did not attend either of Trump’s two previous speeches before a joint session of Congress.
Justice Clarence Thomas has not attended a State of the Union since 2009, while Justice Stephen Breyer, who has a reputation as a regular, appears to be taking the year off.
ABC News’ Devin Dwyer reports.
Trump not expected to declare state of emergency in State of the Union speech
With a day full of speech prep ahead of him, the president sent his first tweet of the morning Tuesday indicating his focus is set squarely on his demand that Congress fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Tremendous numbers of people are coming up through Mexico in the hopes of flooding our Southern Border. We have sent additional military. We will build a Human Wall if necessary. If we had a real Wall, this would be a non-event!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2019
According to White House officials, the president as of Tuesday morning was not expected to make any official national emergency declaration, as he has threatened, in a move to obtain funds to build his border wall without congressional approval. And while the president won’t explicitly rule out another shutdown, one senior official told ABC News that his address is “more of a unifying speech, saying he actually wants to get things done.”
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told reporters at the White House Tuesday that the president will express to lawmakers that he prefers they appropriate the funds he is demanding for securing the border, rather than forcing his hand to take unilateral action.
“The president has said that he can do it,” Conway said. “But he’s never wanted to do that. He wants Congress to finish its work. He wants them to put a deal on his desk that he can sign.”
ABC News’ Alexander Mallin reports.
What is Trump expected to cover?
Beyond the topics conveyed to reporters on what the president is expected to discuss — immigration, middle-class American workers, improving infrastructure, lowering the cost of health care and prescription drugs, and national security — Conway also said Tuesday that Trump will be using his address to outline a strategy for ending HIV transmissions in the U.S. by 2030.
“I look at that as a nonpartisan issue and the president does also, so he will be asking for bipartisan support to make that happen,” Conway said in response to a question from ABC News.
On the economic woes of working-class Americans — a major campaign platform of 2016 and also a focus of last year’s speech — Trump will narrow in on trade deals, like the one his administration is working out with China after trading tariffs over the last few months, and he’ll urge Congress to approve the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement, according to a senior administration official.
On infrastructure, the president is expected to call for a dollar amount. Last year, he asked Congress to generate $1.5 trillion, per a senior White House official. On national security, the president will specifically address the political standoff between Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido and President Nicolas Maduro.
The White House classified this year’s speech as “visionary” — looking toward the future and presenting a “common-sense path forward” with a “very American and can-do optimistic approach.” It’s also going to be long, according to a White House official, following in the footsteps of last year’s 80-minute speech.
ABC News’ Alexander Mallin and Stephanie Ebbs contributed to this report.
What Trump will see in the audience
Many lawmakers will be wearing white, a nod to the women’s suffrage movement.
House Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer handed out white lapel ribbons for his male colleagues to wear in solidarity with the women wearing white.
The effort, Hoyer said, “sends a respectful message that House Democrats stand with women across the country and will continue to defend their rights.”
At least one lawmaker, Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., plans on joining his female colleagues in wearing all white.
Who’s who — and what message their attendance sends
Many of the diverse freshmen House Democrats are using their attendance to make political statements. New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is bringing Ana Maria Archila, the woman who confronted then-Sen. Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona, about sexual assault on an elevator on Capitol Hill during Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearings.
Two other groups expected to be represented among State of the Union guests are transgender service members and environmental activists.
At least four lawmakers have announced their guests are either active-duty or veteran transgender service members. Trump’s plan to restrict service by transgender men and women is currently held up in the courts.
And several Democrats have announced that their State of the Union guests are activists from communities impacted by environmental contamination from a type of chemical used in Teflon and firefighting foam. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have expressed concern about whether the Environmental Protection Agency will limit the amount of those chemicals allowed in drinking water ahead of the expected release of a national plan to deal with them.
Is anyone boycotting?
Last year, 14 Democrats boycotted the address. So far this year, only five Democrats have publicly announced their decision not to attend, including Georgia Reps. John Lewis and Hank Johnson, as well as Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer.
“Just like in past years, I plan to skip a speech that will be filled with lies, deception and divisiveness,” Blumenauer said in a statement.
One thing that’s not new?
Former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders also will deliver a response to Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, something he’s done three years in a row, through a live stream on social media. He’ll speak after Abrams.
ABC News’ Alexander Mallin, Devin Dwyer, Sarah Kolinovsky and Stephanie Ebbs contributed to this report.