It will take a village to respond to President Donald Trump’s first joint address to Congress on Tuesday night.
President Donald Trump’s address will discuss the “the renewal of the American spirit” according to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
Expect to hear about tax and regulatory reform, bringing jobs back to America, and how the commander-in-chief hopes to resolve the floundering program we all know as Obamacare. He will also talk about his administration’s plan to implement the border wall, promised during the campaign.
USA Today reports that at least 30 Democratic state lawmakers are lined up to take aim at the new Republican president’s remarks, by “either unveiling or highlighting legislation this week aimed at President Trump’s working-class voters in a nationwide coordinated rebuttal.”
And the Associated Press reports that Democrats are “inviting immigrants and foreigners to attend Trump’s speech as a choreographed counterpoint to his exclusionary immigration policies.”
It would certainly be another stain on the Democrats’ cloak if their attempts are perceived to damage the dignity
of the office for all Americans.
Last week, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) announced the two who will be officially responding to Trump’s speech, intending to push back on his stances on Obamacare and illegal immigration.
The first, Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky, a state Trump won by a huge margin (1.2 million votes versus Senator Hillary Clinton’s 628,854 votes), will probably rebut the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The second speaker, and a first in U.S. History, will be a response from a Dreamer, Astrid Silva, in Spanish.
Trump’s commitment to working out an agreeable solution to the problem posed by Dreamers has been noticed by Democrats. In January, Democratic Senator Richard Durbin said that Trump told him, “we don’t want to hurt those kids,” and noted that he wants to work something out for the 700,000 young immigrants, many of whom were brought here at a young age and grew up as Americans.
After an election where the Democrats lost the Senate, the House, and the White House, they might want to regroup and try a different approach.
Trump’s address on Feb. 28 will not be a “State of the Union” address, but it is an American tradition.
Research notes prepared by Gerhard Peters at the American Presidency Project explain that the five most recent presidents addressed a joint session of Congress shortly after their inaugurations but these messages are technically not considered to be “State of the Union” addresses.