Storylines to watch when President Trump addresses Congress

The White Property is promising an “optimistic vision” and a “bold agenda” from President Trump when he speaks in front of a joint session of Congress Tuesday evening. This president, of course, knows prime time. But this will be a speech unlike any...

Storylines to watch when President Trump addresses Congress

The White Property is promising an “optimistic vision” and a “bold agenda” from President Trump when he speaks in front of a joint session of Congress Tuesday evening. This president, of course, knows prime time. But this will be a speech unlike any he has given before.

Here is a glimpse at some of the storylines to watch Tuesday night:

Tuesday’s address begins a new phase of the Trump presidency -– a element exactly where congressional purchase-in is no longer optional. Members of Congress are increasing desperate for answers from the White House on important policy priorities, starting with Obamacare, immigration, and the border wall as nicely as tax reform, infrastructure and trade. Trump has as a result far left the legislative heavy lifting to congressional leaders who have been alternately liberated and frustrated by the lack of White Home guidance. That will require to modify starting Tuesday evening, where Trump’s first speech to an assembled Congress will force him to place legislative meat on the rhetorical bones that haven’t grown considerably because the campaign.

The most instant -– and maybe most consequential -– policy region exactly where the president needs to get particular is on healthcare. “Repeal and replace” carries less meaning than ever as a strategy now that we’re 5 weeks into the GOP’s full control of Washington. Trump has been decidedly vague, and from time to time contradictory, in his pronouncements about wanting to expand well being care access, bring down charges and repair insurance coverage markets. “Nobody knew that healthcare could be so difficult,” the president declared on Monday, leaving aside the truth that everyone has often sort of known that. The conservative base is finding restless. And millions of Americans who rely on Obamacare or its market reforms are obtaining rightfully anxious.

Between the inauguration, presidential speeches, White Home and Mar-a-Lago meetings, and even a post-election campaign speech, President Trump has not yet faced a crowd that wasn’t either hand- or self-selected as generally supportive considering that he took office. (That is, unless you count his press conferences, exactly where the president has faced down these whom he considers the “opposition party.”) Assuming boycotts don’t thin their ranks, virtually half the room in the Property chamber will be actual members of the opposition party -– the Democrats, who are feeling intense stress from their base not to cooperate with something the president proposes. Will any of them try something made to get under Trump’s skin? Back to the other opposition party, will Trump retain up his anti-media broadsides in front of Congress -– and a national Tv audience?

President Trump has stretched extra truths -– and perpetrated extra outright falsehoods -– than your typical new president. Now comes a new forum: A speech to a joint session of Congress, where even modest factual errors have had the prospective to launch congressional investigations in the previous. With small visibility surrounding the White House’s fact-checking operation, it remains unclear no matter whether the president will engage in the exaggerations and mistruths that have littered so lots of of his speeches, to say nothing at all of “alternative details.” Will he claim –- without the need of evidence -– to have rightfully won the well known vote due to the fact of widespread fraud? Will his statistics on jobs, immigration, trade, and military may possibly stand up to scrutiny? Can a speech go by where he does not mention -– or overstate –- his Electoral College margin?

The Trump White House has gone out of its way to keep conservatives content, with a Supreme Court selection and a high-profile speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference just two data points in a tactic of base upkeep. Expect the president to trumpet early promises kept, and press for a rapid confirmation vote for Judge Neil Gorsuch. But how conservative will the president want to come across in this setting? His base remains behind him, but the broader public seems someplace between skeptical and hostile about his leadership. Any explicit outreach to Democrats will be closely watched –- yet could prompt speedy blowback.

One particular incredibly major campaign story churns on, and is threatening to overshadow all in the early months of a Trump presidency. Calls for an independent investigation into the Trump camp’s ties with Russia, coupled with the president’s kind words about Vladimir Putin, leave Russia as the dominant foreign-policy storyline coming in to Tuesday. Trump seems unlikely to mention the swirling controversy, but it is all that Democrats -– and now even a handful of Republicans –- want to talk about when it comes to foreign policy. Any national safety pronouncements that come from the president will be viewed by way of the lens of Russia. And physique language in between the president and congressional watchdogs on the Property floor will be freeze-framed and scrutinized.

The out-of-power party’s formal tv response is normally a chance to highlight a rising star. Not so this year, with the selection of 72-year-old former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear to be the Democrats’ most prominent spokesperson for this 1 evening. Beshear is a moderate from a deep-red state that occurs to also be dwelling to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. More relevantly for his probably message, he presided over one particular of the most significant success stories of Obamacare, with Kentucky’s well being care exchange and Medicaid expansion. The Spanish-language response will come from Astrid Silva, an immigration activist and so-called DREAMer who benefited from the Obama administration’s leniency toward undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. The choices of Beshear and Silva suggest that Democrats want to engage Trump on policy additional than personality.

Nothing has been really what it is been in the past below President Trump. Why should really the generally staid pageantry of a joint-session speech be any distinctive? There will be a teleprompter, but no assure that he’ll stick to it. The world will be watching for any distinctly Trump flourishes, and whether or not something he says will bring Democrats to their feet –- or keep Republicans off of theirs. Then there are questions of loved ones, such as how many Trump children will be in attendance. It is also a higher-profile night for initial lady Melania Trump, who will be producing a single of her initially official appearances in hosting guests in her box in the Property chamber.

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