Trump to herald economic progress in State of the Union

President Donald Trump will herald a robust economy and push for bipartisan congressional action on immigration in Tuesday’s State of the Union address

Posted: Jan 30, 2018 7:45 AM
Updated: Jan 30, 2018 8:44 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will herald a robust economy and push for bipartisan congressional action on immigration in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, as he seeks to rally a deeply divided nation and boost his own sagging standing with Americans.

The speech marks the ceremonial kickoff of Trump’s second year in office and is traditionally a president’s biggest platform to speak to the nation. However, Trump has redefined presidential communications with his high-octane, filter-free Twitter account and there’s no guarantee that the carefully crafted speech will resonate beyond his next tweet.

Still, White House officials are hopeful the president can use the prime-time address to Congress and millions of Americans watching at home to take credit for a soaring economy. Though the trajectory of lower unemployment and higher growth began under his predecessor, Trump argues that the tax overhaul he signed into law late last year has boosted business confidence and will lead companies to reinvest in the United States.

Considering the strength of the economy, Trump will step before lawmakers Tuesday night in a remarkably weak position. His approval rating has hovered in the 30s for much of his presidency and at the close of 2017, just 3 in 10 Americans said the United States was heading in the right direction, according to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. In the same survey, 67 percent of Americans said the country was more divided because of Trump.

It’s unlikely Trump will be able to rely on a robust legislative agenda to reverse those numbers in 2018. Congress has struggled with the basic function of funding the government, prompting a brief government shutdown earlier this month that was resolved only with a short-term fix that pushed the spending deadline to Feb. 8.

Against the backdrop of the spending fight, Republicans and Democrats are also wrestling with the future of some 700,000 young immigrants living in the United States illegally. Trump has vowed to protect the so-called Dreamers from deportation, but is also calling for changes to legal immigration that are controversial with both parties.

“We’re going to get something done, we hope bipartisan,” Trump told reporters Monday, before giving his speech a practice run-through in the White House map room. “The Republicans really don’t have the votes to get it done in any other way. So it has to be bipartisan.”

Though Democrats are eager to reach a resolution for the young immigrants, the party is hardly in the mood to compromise with Trump ahead of the midterm elections. Lawmakers see Trump’s unpopularity as a key to their success in November, and are eager to mobilize Democratic voters itching to deliver the president and his party a defeat at the ballot box.

Seeking to set the tone for their election-year strategy, party leaders have tapped Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy, the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, to deliver a post-speech rebuttal aimed at casting Democrats, not Trump, as champions of the middle class.

Democrats are also looking to make their mark in other ways. A handful of lawmakers are planning to boycott the president’s remarks. And several Democratic women plan to wear black to protest sexual harassment, an issue that has tarnished several lawmakers in both parties. Trump himself has been accused of assault or harassment by more than a dozen women, accusations he has denied. The Wall Street Journal reported this month that the president’s lawyer arranged a payment to a porn star, Stormy Daniels, to prevent her from talking about her alleged encounter with the future president.

First lady Melania Trump, who has largely stayed out of the spotlight following those allegations, will attend Tuesday’s address, according to the White House. She’ll be joined in the audience by several guests whose stories amplify the president’s agenda, including an Ohio welder who the White House says will benefit from the new tax law and the parents of two Long Island teenagers who were believed to have been killed by MS-13 gang members.

___

Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC

Terre Haute
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 64°
Robinson
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 61°
Indianapolis
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 61°
Rockville
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 62°
Casey
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 63°
Brazil
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 64°
Marshall
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 64°
More Clouds Overnight
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1343875

Reported Deaths: 24410
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook5380959996
DuPage893431270
Will74435981
Lake66368977
Kane57580768
Winnebago32526469
Madison30250518
McHenry28156284
St. Clair27650510
Peoria22686297
Champaign20373144
Sangamon18437233
McLean17818175
Tazewell16675277
Rock Island14720306
Kankakee13954207
Kendall1282791
LaSalle12286239
Macon10575194
DeKalb9728119
Vermilion9366131
Adams8345120
Williamson7340128
Whiteside7100166
Boone661671
Ogle601480
Grundy579771
Clinton574190
Coles564494
Knox5484139
Jackson495663
Henry487963
Livingston475184
Effingham470672
Stephenson466881
Macoupin466081
Woodford465474
Marion4447115
Franklin439872
Monroe434791
Jefferson4232119
Randolph411984
Lee410552
Morgan384180
Fulton382251
Logan381657
Montgomery368773
Bureau365882
Christian362073
Fayette315855
Perry314159
Iroquois296465
McDonough276345
Jersey268349
Douglas257435
Saline255153
Lawrence239925
Shelby227737
Union224240
Crawford210826
Bond201924
Cass197524
Jo Daviess179824
Pike178451
Clark178032
Warren177846
Wayne175852
Ford175446
Hancock174231
Richland173640
Carroll173536
White168726
Edgar168339
Washington163525
Moultrie159726
Clay148243
Mason147944
Piatt145814
De Witt145424
Mercer143833
Greene143233
Johnson141214
Wabash134212
Massac132940
Cumberland128819
Menard121512
Jasper114818
Marshall103218
Hamilton82915
Schuyler7305
Brown6996
Pulaski6837
Stark63023
Edwards56712
Henderson52214
Calhoun5152
Scott4761
Putnam4733
Alexander46511
Gallatin4574
Hardin38312
Pope3144
Out of IL70
Unassigned02344

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 724214

Reported Deaths: 13363
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion989071736
Lake53172962
Allen40223675
Hamilton35354408
St. Joseph35270550
Elkhart28228437
Tippecanoe22297217
Vanderburgh22231396
Porter18560304
Johnson17832376
Hendricks17098313
Clark12897191
Madison12519339
Vigo12379244
Monroe11811168
LaPorte11691210
Delaware10571185
Howard9823215
Kosciusko9347117
Hancock8204139
Bartholomew8036155
Warrick7754155
Floyd7630176
Wayne7002198
Grant6986174
Boone6652101
Morgan6529139
Dubois6139117
Marshall5954111
Dearborn577177
Cass5769105
Henry5671102
Noble555783
Jackson499672
Shelby488196
Lawrence4470120
Gibson433791
Harrison432972
Clinton426353
DeKalb423284
Montgomery423088
Whitley392739
Huntington386380
Steuben381057
Miami379165
Knox370990
Jasper361347
Putnam357760
Wabash352478
Adams340354
Ripley338370
Jefferson328481
White312254
Daviess294399
Wells290281
Decatur282992
Fayette278362
Greene276085
Posey270733
Scott264453
LaGrange263870
Clay258945
Randolph239581
Washington239131
Spencer230431
Jennings228848
Starke213252
Fountain211846
Sullivan210442
Owen195856
Fulton194240
Jay190429
Carroll187820
Perry182537
Orange181854
Rush172625
Vermillion167643
Franklin167235
Tipton161945
Parke145416
Blackford134332
Pike132634
Pulaski115945
Newton106734
Brown101441
Crawford99014
Benton98114
Martin87415
Warren80515
Switzerland7808
Union70610
Ohio56211
Unassigned0413