Written by Ashley Koh

What happened?

On February 5, President Trump opened his State of the Union address by saying, “The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican or a Democrat Agenda. It is the agenda of the American People”. If you were wondering what the State of the Union is, it is an annual address made by the President of the United States at the beginning of each calendar year in office in a joint session with the US Congress. The address allows the President to propose new legislative agendas and national priorities.

So, what’s on the agenda this year? In his address, President Trump appealed to the US Congress to approve the US$5.7 billion in funding for the construction of the wall at the US-Mexico border. Calling it an “urgent national crisis”, he urged the Democrats and Republicans to compromise by the February 15 deadline.  He also called for support for the United States Reciprocal Trade act. If passed, this bill allows the US to impose tariffs on imports from a particular country, should they deem that that country imposed ‘unfair’ tariffs on American exports. Other than that, President Trump also announced his plans to meet Kim Jong Un in Vietnam on February 27 and 28.


A plea for support from the stubborn Congress?

President Trump crafted an image of a “great America” during his address as an act to persuade the Democrats in Congress to support his agenda. The unusual bipartisan nature of Trump’s address came only a week after Trump ceded to the Democrats to end the record 35-day government shutdown, which failed to secure any funding for his border walls. He also briefly mentioned about improving infrastructure, lowering prices of prescription drugs, and even funding the research for the cure for childhood cancer, all without mentioning when and how he will do it. With the 2020 elections approaching and Trump’s intentions to run for president, he should probably attempt to, at least, end his Presidential term on a high note.

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