2018 State of the Union Address

The 2018 State of the Union Address was given by the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, at 9 p.m. EST in the chamber of the United States House of Representatives. It was addressed to the 115th United States Congress. It was Trump's first State of the Union Address and his second speech to a joint session of the United States Congress. U.S. Representative Joe Kennedy III and Virginia Delegate Elizabeth Guzmán gave the Democratic Party's response in English and Spanish respectively.

The Address was watched by 45.6 million viewers. There were also 21 million interactions regarding the Address on social media.[2]

2018 State of the Union Address
2018 SOTU 27628831
President Donald Trump during the speech, with Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan behind him.
DateJanuary 30, 2018
Time9:00 p.m. EST
Duration1 hour, 20 minutes[1]
VenueHouse Chamber, United States Capitol
LocationWashington, D.C.
Coordinates38°53′23″N 77°00′32″W / 38.88972°N 77.00889°WCoordinates: 38°53′23″N 77°00′32″W / 38.88972°N 77.00889°W
TypeState of the Union Address
ParticipantsDonald Trump
FootageC-SPAN
Websitewhitehouse.gov/sotu

Background

Article II, Section 3, Clause 1 of the United States Constitution states that the president "shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient."[3] On November 30, 2017, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan sent an invitation to the President to deliver a "State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on January 30, 2018, in the House Chamber."[4] The speech was Trump's first State of the Union address and his second speech to a joint session of Congress.[5]

On January 26, 2018, a senior administration official told reporters that "the tone [of the address] will be one of bipartisanship and it will be very forward looking."[6] The official said that the theme of Trump's speech would be "building a safe, strong, and proud America."[7] Five major policy issues were discussed by the president: the economy, infrastructure, immigration, trade, and national security.[8] More specifically, Trump touted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and echoed his campaign call for "fair" and "reciprocal" trade deals.[9]

Senior policy adviser Stephen Miller and staff secretary Rob Porter took the lead in writing the speech. The full draft of the speech was completed two weeks before the State of the Union Address, but it was still being edited with reviews and suggestions from Cabinet secretaries and senior White House aides. National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis offered feedback on the national security portion of the speech.[10]

Contents and delivery

Taxation

A significant portion of the scripted speech was dedicated to the tax package passed in December, which Trump labeled as the largest tax reform bill in U.S. history.

Economy and employment

Donald Trump State of the Union 2018 (39974382192)
Trump next to the podium prior to delivering the speech

The speech also focused on the economic successes of the first year of the presidency. Trump highlighted creation of new jobs, specifically 200,000 manufacturing jobs. To support this claim, Trump pointed to invited guests from Staub Manufacturing in Dayton, Ohio, a business that has seen their greatest earnings since starting their business 20 years ago.[11] The president also reiterated a 45-year low in unemployment, with the lowest rate of African-American and Hispanic unemployment ever recorded.[12]

Infrastructure

Trump called on Congress to support a plan to spend $1.5 trillion on rebuilding infrastructure across the country. His speech reflected on the building of the Empire State Building, claiming that it was built in one year while current regulations delay construction of some roads by 10 years.[13] Trump concluded by declaring "we will rebuild infrastructure with American heart, American hands and American grit.”

Immigration

Much of the State of the Union came in the form of general policy goals. This was especially the case for the issue of immigration. Trump used personal accounts in order to support his pitch for an overhaul in the U.S. immigration system. Two Long Island families, both of whom had children who were killed by a member of the MS-13 gang, a group with ties to Central America, were used to highlight the need to close “glaring loopholes” in the immigration system. An Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer’s fight with MS-13 was used as an example for greater border security. After listing the perceived dangers of the current immigration system, Trump gave “four pillars” of what he sees as the ideal path forward. He offered a broad framework that includes an eventual pathway to citizenship for “Dreamers” that will take 12 years and increased border security, two tenets of the current budget negotiations between Democrats and the White House. Trump repeated his desire to move away from the visa-lottery system, and towards a more merit-based system, which will likely prioritize foreigners with a higher-level of education and wealth. The fourth pillar was to end what has become known as chain migration, the practice of prioritizing the family members of immigrants who are already state-side.[14]

Foreign policy

In a nod to foreign policy and recent provocations against North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, the speech also said that “as part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression.”

Much of the foreign policy portion of the speech criticized North Korea over human rights. Trump introduced both the parents of Otto Warmbier, the American university student who returned to the U.S. in a coma and eventually died following a long detention in North Korea, as well as Ji Seong-ho, an amputee who escaped North Korea as a child after being tortured by authorities.[15]

Healthcare

In an aim to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Trump highlighted the GOP's action in repealing the individual mandate as part of their tax overhaul. He also shared that the FDA had approved more drugs in 2017 than in any year prior.[16] Additionally, his speech covered his administration's goal to give veterans choice for their healthcare, as well as allowing patients with terminal illnesses to get access to experimental treatments.

Trump emphasized that one of his top priorities in 2018 is to reduce the price of prescription drugs, citing that drugs in other countries cost far less than the same drugs in the United States.

Address

Video of the 2018 State of the Union Address

The State of the Union Address was given at 9 pm EST on January 30, 2018.[17] Distribution of the tickets for the event was delayed because the first printing of the tickets misspelled the event as the "State of the Uniom".[18]

John Roberts, the Chief Justice of the United States, and Associate Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Neil Gorsuch were the only justices of the Supreme Court of the United States in attendance for the speech. The other five justices were absent.[19] Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg did not attend the address to participate in a "fireside chat" at Roger Williams University School of Law with U.S. Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya, which was scheduled in August 2017.[20]

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue was named the designated survivor and was at an undisclosed location during the address so that, in case of a catastrophe, the continuity of government was upheld.[21]

Protests

A group of female Democratic members of Congress wore black outfits to the address in solidarity with movements protesting sexual harassment and assault in numerous industries.[22] Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) will wear red pins to honor Recy Taylor, a black woman who was gang raped by six white men in 1944.[23]

Democratic boycotts

On January 5, 2018, U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer announced that he would be in his district rather than attend the State of the Union Address.[24] In light of reporting that Trump called Haiti, El Salvador, and several nations in Africa "shithole countries", Representative John Lewis announced on January 12 that he was not planning on attending the address.[25] Joining Lewis in the boycott, Representative Maxine Waters said, "[Trump] does not deserve my attention."[26] Representative Frederica Wilson became the fourth member of Congress to boycott the address on January 14, calling Trump a racist and liar.[27] On January 15, Representative Pramila Jayapal announced she too was boycotting the address because of "racism and hatred" from Trump.[28] On January 17, CBC chairman Cedric Richmond said that the group was pondering a potential boycott or demonstration of the address.[29] The press secretary of Representative Barbara Lee said she would not attend the address, which was decided before Trump's disparaging remarks were reported.[30]

On January 26, Representative Jan Schakowsky announced she was not going to attend the address, citing the travel ban, Trump's response to the violence at the Unite the Right rally, and his use of vulgar language to refer to African nations as reasons for her boycott.[31] Representative Gregory Meeks announced on January 28 that he would be boycotting, saying, "I cannot give this man, who does not respect me, the respect to be in that audience."[32] The spokesperson for Representative Albio Sires said, "The congressman is not attending the State of the Union because many of his constituents are offended by the president's rhetoric and behavior."[33] On January 29, Representatives Bobby Rush and Danny Davis announced they were boycotting the address.[34]

Counter-programming

People's State of the Union

Actor Mark Ruffalo, other stars, and members of "the resistance movement" hosted a "People's State of the Union" on January 29, saying, "In essence, it's a better reflection of our state of the union based on a more populist point of view, based on the people's point of view. I think it's important because we have a president who has a difficult time with the truth, who has a radical, divisive agenda, and spends an enormous amount of time focusing on the negative and hopelessness and despair."[35] The event was held on January 29, 2018, at The Town Hall in New York City.[36] Attendees included Bill de Blasio,[37] John Leguizamo, Michael Moore, Cynthia Nixon, Rosie Perez, Mark Ruffalo, and Gloria Steinem,[38] and performers included Andra Day, Common, and Rufus Wainwright.[39][40] "We Stand United" was the lead organizer, and additional support was provided by MoveOn.org Political Action and Stand Up America.[41][42]

State of the Dream

On January 25, actress Alyssa Milano announced that she would host counter-programming called "State of the Dream", which would solicit and present brief videos from Americans describing their dreams for the country that would be posted on Twitter and other social media simultaneously while Trump is giving his address.[43]

Notable invitations

White House

State of the Union (39296485874)
Melania Trump and Karen Pence with invited guests prior to the address

Along with First Lady Melania Trump, the White House invited certain people affected by the issues that the president will address in his speech.[44] On January 28, 2018, the mother of Kayla Cuevas, who was murdered on Long Island in 2016 by MS-13 gang members, said the White House invited her to attend the State of the Union Address.[45] White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders named several people on January 29 who would attend the address. Among those who were named was a police officer who adopted a baby born to a homeless woman addicted to heroin.[46] Ji Seong-ho, a North Korean defector was invited to the address.[47]

Republican

On January 17, U.S. Representative Sean Duffy invited U.S. Army veteran Ricky Taylor, better known by his Twitter username as "Deplorable Vet", to be his guest at the address after Taylor sought to take Maxine Waters' unused seats.[48] Representative Jim Bridenstine, who was nominated by Trump to be NASA administrator, invited Bill Nye on January 18 to be his guest at the address.[49] On January 24, U.S. Senator John Hoeven announced that Miss America Cara Mund was his guest at the address.[50] Representative Kevin Cramer invited Tommy Fisher, a corporate executive whose company was given a contract to develop a prototype for construction of a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, to attend the address.[51] On January 26, Representative Carlos Curbelo announced he was inviting a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.[52] Representative Kevin Yoder announced on January 27 that he was inviting the widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an Indian immigrant who was killed in the 2017 Olathe, Kansas shooting.[53]

Democratic

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and several other Democratic members of Congress said they would be inviting DREAMers and other immigrants to the address.[54] Representative Debbie Dingell announced on January 18 that she was inviting Cindy Garcia, whose husband was deported to Mexico after spending nearly three decades living and raising a family in Michigan, to the address.[55] Several House Democrats invited members of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements to attend the address.[56] Representatives Jackie Speier, Bonnie Watson Coleman, and Suzan DelBene respectively invited Fatima Goss Graves, the President and CEO of the National Women's Law Center; the niece of Recy Taylor; and Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner to be their guests.[57]

On January 25, Representative Mark Pocan invited U.S. House candidate Randy Bryce, who is challenging Paul Ryan in the 2018 midterm elections, to the address.[58] Representative Robin Kelly invited Illinois Attorney General candidate Kwame Raoul to attend the address, saying, "As a first-generation Haitian American, his presence and voice at the State of the Union is greatly needed, especially in light of the president's recent racist and derogatory comments about Haiti and other nations."[59] On January 26, Senator Richard Blumenthal invited a survivor of child sex trafficking to the address.[60] On January 27, Representative Val Demings invited a first responder to the Orlando nightclub shooting to the address.[61] Senator Jeanne Shaheen invited to the address a woman whose son died of drug overdose.[62]

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand invited San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz on January 29 to attend the address. On Twitter, Gillibrand wrote, "Throughout the crisis in Puerto Rico, Mayor Cruz has shown extraordinary leadership and fearless advocacy for her city. I hope Mayor Cruz's presence at #SOTU will remind the president and my colleagues in Congress of our urgent responsibility to help Puerto Rico fully recover and rebuild. Our fellow citizens must not be forgotten or left behind."[63]

Responses

Democratic Party

U.S. Representative Joe Kennedy III and Virginia Delegate Elizabeth Guzmán gave Democratic response speeches

Joe Kennedy III, 115th official photo
Elizabeth Guzman at volunteer appreciation event

On January 25, 2018, it was announced that U.S. Representative Joe Kennedy III would give the Democratic response to the State of the Union Address and the Spanish language response would be given by Virginia Delegate Elizabeth Guzmán, who became the first Hispanic female immigrant elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.[64] Nancy Pelosi said, "Congressman Kennedy profoundly understands the challenges facing hardworking men and women across the country."[65] Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, "In their responses to the President's address, Congressman Kennedy and Virginia Delegate Guzmán will both do an excellent job in making clear that Democrats are laser-focused on enacting policies to benefit middle class Americans, not special interests or the wealthiest."[66]

Kennedy said he was honored to be chosen to give the Democratic response, saying, "From health care to economic justice, to civil rights, the Democratic agenda stands in powerful contrast to President Trump's broken promises to American families."[65] In a statement, Guzmán also said she was honored and added, "Through his rhetoric and policies, the president has marginalized members of my community who are simply trying to work hard and support their families. I look forward to standing up for all working people on Tuesday."[67]

The selection of Kennedy to give the Democratic response came after criticism that the Democratic Party relied too heavily on its oldest leaders since the 2016 presidential election. In choosing Kennedy, the party is trying to bridge the gap with a new face attached to one of the most famous names in American politics.[68] Joe Kennedy III is the second member of his family to give the Democratic response after his great uncle Ted Kennedy gave one to the 1982 State of the Union Address.[69]

It was announced on January 29 that Kennedy would be giving the Democratic response from Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School in Fall River, Massachusetts.[70]

Libertarian Party

Nicholas Sarwark, the chairman of the Libertarian National Committee, gave the Libertarian Party response to the State of the Union Address.[71] Additionally, Libertarian 2020 presidential candidate Adam Kokesh gave a response to the State of the Union address.[72]

Green Party

On January 25, 2018, the Green Party issued a press release stating that it would stream an online response to the State of the Union Address, featuring Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka, the 2016 presidential and vice presidential nominees respectively.[73]

Other

It was announced on January 26, 2018, that Maxine Waters would be on the BET program, Angela Rye's State of the Union, after the State of the Union Address to address the country.[74] On January 29, the office of Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent, announced that he would be giving his own response to the address.[75] Alt-right figures supported the Speech.[76]

Coverage

The State of the Union Address was televised on all the major U.S. broadcast and cable television networks.[77] Facebook and Twitter streamed the address online.[78][79] Nine media outlets (ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, Bloomberg News, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Telemundo, Univision, and C-SPAN) and the White House will provide ten separate livestreams of the address on YouTube.[80]

On January 24, NBC News announced that it would begin its coverage of the address at 9 pm EST, with NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt leading it. Holt was joined by Today co-anchor Savannah Guthrie, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd, Megyn Kelly Today anchor Megyn Kelly, special correspondent Tom Brokaw, and chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell. Starting at 8 pm EST, NBC News will also be livestreaming the event on YouTube and NBCNews.com with national political correspondent Steve Kornacki and correspondent Katy Tur.[81] On January 26, CBS News announced it was beginning its coverage at 9 pm EST, but CBSN would start streaming its coverage of the event at 5 pm EST.[82] CNN stated that it would start its coverage at 7 pm EST and stream on CNNgo.[83] Fox News announced on January 28 that it would begin coverage at 9 pm EST with Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum.[84]

Viewership

Across twelve broadcast and cable television networks, 45.8 million viewers watched the speech.[85] The address was the most-tweeted of its kind with a record total of 4.5 million tweets, surpassing the former record of 3 million tweets, set during Trump's 2017 joint session address—which was broken less than an hour into the 2018 address.[86]

Total cable and network viewers[87]

Network Viewers
FNC 11,705,000
NBC 7,055,000
CBS 6,990,000
ABC 5,400,000
Fox 3,600,000
CNN 3,111,000
MSNBC 2,674,000

Reactions

Fact checkers

FactCheck.org stated, "The president exaggerates his accomplishments in his address to Congress."[88] PolitiFact assessed one true, three mostly true, two half true, four mostly false, and two false statements.[89]

On February 1, Trump said that viewership of his address was "the highest number in history", but there were five addresses given by Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama that had higher viewership.[90]

Late-night talk shows

Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and The Opposition with Jordan Klepper were aired live to offer instant analysis and commentary on the State of the Union Address. Both shows planned to simulcast the first segment of their live episodes via Facebook Live.[91] CBS also aired a live edition of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.[92]

Politicians

Alex Seitz-Wald of NBC News described that during the address, "many Democrats showed how little stock they put in Trump's calls for cooperation by staying seated during rhetoric that would have prompted bipartisan applause if it came from almost any other president." Representative Seth Moulton asked on Twitter if people believed that Trump would follow through on infrastructure. Senator and former 2016 vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine offered advice on what would have convinced Democrats that Trump was serious about cooperation. In a statement, Representative Adam Schiff said, "Tonight, the president showered law enforcement with praise, even as he and his congressional allies launch an all out attack on the FBI, the pre-eminent federal law enforcement agency." Senators Doug Jones and Joe Manchin were the only Democrats showing consistent support for Trump.[93]

Public opinion

In a CBS News poll, 42 percent of respondents who watched the State of the Union Address identified themselves as Republicans, 33 percent as Independents, and 25 percent as Democrats. 75 percent of those who were polled approved of the speech.[94] A CNN poll of viewers determined that 48 percent of viewers had a very positive impression of the speech and 22 percent had a somewhat positive impression, which was the lowest net positive rating since CNN first began asking the question in 1998.[95]

See also

References

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External links

Preceded by
2016 State of the Union Address
State of the Union addresses
2018
Succeeded by
2019 State of the Union Address
115th United States Congress

The One Hundred Fifteenth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from January 3, 2017, to January 3, 2019, during the final weeks of Barack Obama's presidency and the first two years of Donald Trump's presidency.

Several political scientists described the legislative accomplishments of this Congress as modest, considering that both Congress and the Presidency were under unified Republican Party control. According to a contemporary study, "House and Senate GOP majorities struggled to legislate: GOP fissures and an undisciplined, unpopular president frequently undermined the Republican agenda. Most notably, clashes within and between the two parties strained old ways of doing business."

1986 State of the Union Address

The 1986 State of the Union address was given by President Ronald Reagan to a joint session of the 99th United States Congress in the House Chamber of the Capitol at 8:04 p.m. on Tuesday, February 4, 1986. The speech was the second State of the Union address of President Reagan's second term. Economic growth, increased job opportunities, and falling inflation rates were among some of the key issues discussed in this address. Reagan advocated for both an increase in national defense and a reevaluation of the federal budget, arguing the importance of national security and economic stability by appealing to American family values. In addition, the speech addressed welfare issues and proposed that new programs be created to support poor families. Reagan also asked that he be given the authority of a line-item veto. The speech lasted approximately 31 minutes and contained 3,514 words. The address was broadcast live on radio and television.

This was the first State of the Union Address to have been postponed from its original date. Reagan planned to give his address on Tuesday, January 28, 1986, but after learning of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, he postponed it for a week and addressed the nation on the day's events. Reagan delivered a much shorter address to the nation, focused solely upon the tragic events of the Challenger disaster, which served as an explanation for the delay of the speech. Reagan justified this delay by stating that “today is a day for mourning and remembering,” inviting the nation to devote the day to recognizing what he defined as “truly a national loss.”As a continuation of the tradition President Reagan started at the delivery of his State of the Union Address in 1982, he invited hand-selected special guests to be present during the speech. These four guests included Tyrone Ford, a 12-year-old with a talent in gospel music, 13-year-old Trevor Ferrell, who took an initiative to support the homeless, 13-year-old Shelby Butler, who risked her own life to save a classmate from oncoming traffic, and Richard Cavoli, a student of science who had designed an experiment that had been carried aboard Space Shuttle Challenger. These four guests were chosen because President Reagan saw them as everyday examples of young heroes in America. Each of these individuals was mentioned directly during the speech.The Democratic Party response was delivered by Senator George Mitchell (ME), Lt. Gov. Harriett Woods (MO), Gov. Charles Robb (VA), Rep. Thomas Daschle (SD), and Rep. William Gray (PA), who had previously taken part in the group response to President Reagan’s State of the Union Address delivered on January 25, 1984.President Reagan was joined before the joint session of Congress by Vice President George H. W. Bush and Speaker of the House Thomas O’Neill, who introduced Reagan before the commencement of the address.

2016 State of the Union Address

The 2016 State of the Union Address was given by the 44th United States President Barack Obama on Tuesday, January 12, 2016, in the chamber of the United States House of Representatives. It was addressed to the 114th United States Congress. It was the first State of the Union address with Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House of Representatives. It was the last State of the Union Address of Obama's presidency; no U.S. president since Gerald Ford has given a final State of the Union address at the end of his term. Obama's presidency ended on January 20, 2017.

In an effort to expand on the presidential administration's use of the Internet to reach American citizens, the 2016 State of the Union Address broadcasts live on the White House website, as well as on the White House YouTube channel.Senate President pro tempore Orrin Hatch and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson were the designated survivors for the 2016 address.

The Address was watched by 31.3 million viewers.

2017–18 North Korea crisis

The 2017–18 North Korean crisis was a period of heightened tension between North Korea and the United States throughout 2017 and half of 2018, which began when North Korea conducted a series of missile and nuclear tests that demonstrated the country's ability to launch ballistic missiles beyond its immediate region and suggested that North Korea's nuclear weapons capability was developing at a faster rate than had been assessed by the U.S. intelligence community.This, as well as a regular joint U.S.–South Korea military exercise undertaken in August 2017 and U.S. threats, raised international tensions in the region and beyond. During 2017, North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test in early September, and heated rhetoric was exchanged, stoking fears about a possible war.

While the tensions were mostly between the United States, North Korea threatened Australia twice with nuclear strikes throughout 2017, accusing them of siding with the U.S. and 'blindly' following them. By the beginning of 2018, however, tensions began to ease dramatically, with North Korea announcing the restoration of the Seoul–Pyongyang hotline and agreeing to hold talks with South Korea about participation at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Diplomatic activity flourished during the next few months, with the suspension of nuclear and missile tests by North Korea, and the 2018 inter-Korean summit in late April which culminated in the signing of the Panmunjom Declaration on April 27, 2018. An unprecedented bilateral summit between Kim and Trump was held in Singapore on 12 June 2018. It resulted in a joint declaration calling for the "full denuclearization of the Korean peninsula". A second summit between Kim and Trump will take place in Hanoi, Vietnam on February 27-28, 2019.

2019 State of the Union Address

The 2019 State of the Union Address was given by the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, on Tuesday, February 5, 2019, at 9 p.m. EST in the chamber of the United States House of Representatives to the 116th United States Congress. Presiding over this joint session was the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, accompanied by Mike Pence, the Vice President of the United States. It was Trump's second State of the Union Address and his third speech to a joint session of the United States Congress. The Democratic Response was given by 2018 Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and the Spanish-language response was given by California Attorney General and former U.S. Representative Xavier Becerra.

Article Two of the United States Constitution

Article Two of the United States Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, which carries out and enforces federal laws. Article Two vests the power of the executive branch in the office of the President of the United States, lays out the procedures for electing and removing the president, and establishes the president's powers and responsibilities.

Section 1 of Article Two establishes the positions of the president and the vice president, and sets the term of both offices at four years. Section 1's Vesting Clause declares that the executive power of the federal government is vested in the president and, along with the Vesting Clauses of Article One and Article Three, establishes the separation of powers between the three branches of government. Section 1 also establishes the Electoral College, the body charged with electing the president and the vice president. Section 1 provides that each state chooses members of the Electoral College in a manner directed by each state's respective legislature, with the states granted electors equal to their combined representation in both houses of Congress. Section 1 lays out the procedures of the Electoral College and requires the House of Representatives to hold a contingent election to select the president if no individual wins a majority of the electoral vote. Section 1 also sets forth the eligibility requirements for the office of the president, provides procedures in case of a presidential vacancy, and requires the president to take an oath of office.

Section 2 of Article Two lays out the powers of the presidency, establishing that the president serves as the commander-in-chief of the military and has the power to grant pardons and require the "principal officer" of any executive department to tender advice. Though not required by Article Two, President George Washington organized the principal officers of the executive departments into the Cabinet, a practice that subsequent presidents have followed. The Treaty Clause grants the president the power to enter into treaties with the approval of two-thirds of the Senate. The Appointments Clause grants the president the power to appoint judges and public officials subject to the advice and consent of the Senate, which in practice has meant that presidential appointees must be confirmed by a majority vote in the Senate. The Appointments Clause also establishes that Congress can, by law, allow the president, the courts, or the heads of departments to appoint "inferior officers" without requiring the advice and consent of the Senate. The final clause of Section 2 grants the president the power to make recess appointments to fill vacancies that occur when the Senate is in recess.

Section 3 of Article Two lays out the responsibilities of the president, granting the president the power to convene both houses of Congress, receive foreign representatives, and commission all federal officers. Section 3 requires the president to inform Congress of the "state of the union"; since 1913 this has taken the form of a speech referred to as the State of the Union. The Recommendation Clause requires the president to recommend measures he deems "necessary and expedient." The Take Care Clause requires the president to obey and enforce all laws, though the president retains some discretion in interpreting the laws and determining how to enforce them. Section 4 of Article Two establishes that the president and other officers can be removed from office through the impeachment process, which is further described in Article One.

Bernie Sanders

Bernard Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician who has served as the junior United States Senator from Vermont since 2007. The longest-serving Independent in congressional history, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990 and caucuses with the Democratic Party, enabling his appointment to congressional committees and at times giving Democrats a majority.

Sanders was born and raised in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, and attended Brooklyn College before graduating from the University of Chicago in 1964. While a student he was an active protest organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the civil rights movement. After settling in Vermont in 1968, Sanders ran unsuccessful third-party political campaigns in the early to mid-1970s. As an independent, he was elected mayor of Burlington—the state's most populous city—in 1981, by a margin of ten votes. He was reelected three times. He won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990, representing Vermont's at-large congressional district; he later co-founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Sanders served as a U.S. Representative for 16 years before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006. He has been reelected to the Senate twice: in 2012 and 2018.

On April 30, 2015, Sanders announced his campaign for the 2016 Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Initially considered a long shot, he went on to win 23 primaries and caucuses and approximately 43% of pledged delegates, to Hillary Clinton's 55%. His campaign was noted for its supporters' enthusiasm, as well as for his rejection of large donations from corporations, the financial industry, and any associated Super PAC. On July 12, 2016, he formally endorsed Clinton in her general election campaign against Republican Donald Trump, while urging his supporters to continue the "political revolution" his campaign began.

A self-described democratic socialist and progressive, Sanders is pro-labor rights and emphasizes reversing economic inequality. He advocates for universal and single-payer healthcare, paid parental leave, as well as tuition-free tertiary education. On foreign policy, Sanders broadly supports reducing military spending, pursuing more diplomacy and international cooperation, and putting greater emphasis on labor rights and environmental concerns when negotiating international trade agreements. On February 19, 2019, Sanders announced a second presidential campaign against incumbent President Donald Trump. He joined multiple other Democratic candidates for the presidency, including Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker.

Bill Nye

William Sanford Nye (born November 27, 1955), popularly known as Bill Nye the Science Guy, is an American science communicator, television presenter, and mechanical engineer. He is best known as the host of the PBS and syndicated children's science show Bill Nye the Science Guy (1993–1998), the Netflix show Bill Nye Saves the World (2017–present), and for his many subsequent appearances in popular media as a science educator.

Nye began his career as a mechanical engineer for Boeing Corporation in Seattle, where he invented a hydraulic resonance suppressor tube used on 747 airplanes. In 1986, Nye left Boeing to pursue comedy, writing and performing jokes and bits for the local sketch television show Almost Live!, where he would regularly conduct wacky science experiments. Nye aspired to become the next Mr. Wizard and with the help of several producers successfully pitched the children's television program Bill Nye the Science Guy to KCTS-TV, channel 9, Seattle's public television station. The show—which proudly proclaimed in its theme song that "science rules!"—ran from 1993 to 1998 in national TV syndication. Known for its "high-energy presentation and MTV-paced segments," the program became a hit for both kids and adults. The show was critically acclaimed and was nominated for 23 Emmy Awards, winning nineteen.

Following the success of his show, Nye continued to advocate for science, becoming the CEO of the Planetary Society and helping develop sundials for the Mars Exploration Rover missions. Nye has written two best-selling books on science, including Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation in 2014 and Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World in 2015. Nye has made frequent media appearances, including on Dancing with the Stars, The Big Bang Theory and Inside Amy Schumer. Nye starred in a documentary about his life and science advocacy titled Bill Nye: Science Guy, which premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March 2017, and, in October 2017, was chosen a NYT Critic's Pick. In 2017, he debuted a Netflix series, entitled Bill Nye Saves the World.

Charles C. Johnson

Charles Carlisle Johnson (born October 22, 1988) is an American far-right political activist. A self-described "investigative journalist", Johnson is frequently described as an internet troll, and has been involved in the proliferation and spread of multiple fake news stories. Johnson was owner of the websites GotNews.com, WeSearchr.com, and Freestartr.com, all of which are now defunct. He has also written two books, both published in 2013 by Encounter Books.

Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School

Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School is a public vocational high school located in Fall River, Massachusetts. The high school serves a regional school district comprising the city of Fall River, and the surrounding towns of Somerset, Swansea and Westport. The school has an enrollment of over 1,400 students and offers vocational technical programs in 16 different programs, including Automotive Collision, Repair, and Refinishing; Auto Technology; Building and Property Maintenance; Business Technology; Carpentry-Cabinetmaking; Culinary Arts; Dental Assisting; Drafting; Electricity; Electronics; Graphic Communication; Health Assisting; Heating, Ventilation, Conditioning, and Refrigeration; Machine Tool Technology; Metal Fabrication & Joining Technology; and Plumbing.The school also includes the Diman Regional School of Practical Nursing, offering post-graduate education in the field of practical nursing.In January 2018, Joe Kennedy III addressed television cameras and a live studio audience in the automotive body shop of the school, for the Democratic Party's response to President Trump's 2018 State of the Union Address.

Elizabeth Guzmán

Elizabeth R. Guzmán is a Peruvian-American politician and social worker elected to represent Virginia's 31st House of Delegates district in Virginia's House of Delegates.

Green New Deal

The Green New Deal (GND) is a set of proposed economic stimulus programs in the United States that aim to address climate change and economic inequality. The name refers to the New Deal, a set of social and economic reforms and public works projects undertaken by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression. The Green New Deal combines Roosevelt's economic approach with modern ideas such as renewable energy and resource efficiency. A previous policy similar to the Green New Deal was the 2008 tax incentive for solar panels.

Heroin(e)

Heroin(e) is a 2017 American documentary film directed by Elaine McMillion Sheldon and produced by Elaine McMillion Sheldon and Kerrin Sheldon. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject at the 90th Academy Awards.

History of the United States Democratic Party

The Democratic Party is the oldest voter-based political party in the world and the oldest existing political party in the United States, tracing its heritage back to the anti-Federalists and the Jeffersonian Democratic-Republican Party of the 1790s. During the Second Party System (from 1832 to the mid-1850s) under Presidents Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren and James K. Polk, the Democrats usually bested the opposition Whig Party by narrow margins. Both parties worked hard to build grassroots organizations and maximize the turnout of voters, which often reached 80 percent or 90 percent of eligible voters (at this time, suffrage was granted only to white males). Both parties used patronage extensively to finance their operations, which included emerging big city political machines as well as national networks of newspapers. The party was a proponent for slave-owners across the country, urban workers and caucasian immigrants.

From 1860 to 1932 in the era of the American Civil War to the Great Depression, the opposing Republican Party, organized in the mid-1850s from the ruins of the Whig Party and some other smaller splinter groups, was dominant in presidential politics. The Democrats elected only two Presidents to four terms of office for twenty-two years, namely Grover Cleveland (in 1884 and 1892) and Woodrow Wilson (in 1912 and 1916).

Over the same period, the Democrats proved more competitive with the Republicans in Congressional politics, enjoying House of Representatives majorities (as in the 65th Congress) in 15 of the 36 Congresses elected, although only in five of these did they form the majority in the Senate. Furthermore, the Democratic Party was split between the Bourbon Democrats, representing Eastern business interests; and the agrarian elements comprising poor farmers in the South and West. The agrarian element, marching behind the slogan of free silver (i.e. in favor of inflation), captured the party in 1896 and nominated William Jennings Bryan in the 1896, 1900 and 1908 presidential elections, although he lost every time. Both Bryan and Wilson were leaders of the progressive movement in the United States (1890s–1920s).

Starting with 32nd President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 during the Great Depression, the party dominated the Fifth Party System, with its progressive liberal policies and programs with the New Deal coalition to combat the emergency bank closings and the continuing financial depression since the famous Wall Street Crash of 1929 and later going into the crises leading up to World War II. The Democrats and the Democratic Party finally lost the White House and control of the executive branch of government only after Roosevelt's death in April 1945 near the end of the war and after the continuing post-war administration of Roosevelt's third Vice President Harry S. Truman, former Senator from Missouri (for 1945 to 1953, elections of 1944 and the "stunner" of 1948). A new Republican Party President was only elected later in the following decade of the early 1950s with the losses by two-time nominee, the Governor of Illinois Adlai Stevenson (grandson of the former Vice President with the same name of the 1890s) to the very popular war hero and commanding general in World War II, General Dwight D. Eisenhower (in 1952 and 1956).

With two brief interruptions since the Great Depression and World War II eras, the Democrats with unusually large majorities for over four decades, controlled the lower house of the Congress in the House of Representatives from 1930 until 1994 and the Senate for most of that same period, electing the Speaker of the House and the Representatives' majority leaders/committee chairs along with the upper house of the Senate's majority leaders and committee chairmen. Important Democratic progressive/liberal leaders included 33rd and 36th Presidents Harry S. Truman of Missouri (1945–1953) and Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas (1963–1969), respectively; and the earlier Kennedy brothers of 35th President John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts (1961–1963), Senators Robert F. Kennedy of New York and Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts who carried the flag for modern American liberalism. Since the presidential election of 1976, Democrats have won five out of the last eleven presidential elections, winning in the presidential elections of 1976 (with 39th President Jimmy Carter of Georgia, 1977–1981), 1992 and 1996 (with 42nd President Bill Clinton of Arkansas, 1993–2001) and 2008 and 2012 (with 44th President Barack Obama of Illinois, 2009–2017). Democrats have also won the popular vote in 2000 and 2016, but lost the Electoral College with Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, respectively. The 1876 and 1888 elections were other two presidential elections in which Democrats won the popular vote, but lost the Electoral College (the Democrats candidates were Samuel J. Tilden and Grover Cleveland). Social scientists Theodore Caplow et al. argue that "the Democratic party, nationally, moved from left-center toward the center in the 1940s and 1950s, then moved further toward the right-center in the 1970s and 1980s".

Ji Seong-ho

Ji Seong-ho (born 1982) is a North Korean defector who lives in South Korea, where he works to raise awareness about the situation in North Korea and to help fellow defectors. He was badly injured by a train but managed to escape North Korea.

Joe Kennedy III

Joseph Patrick Kennedy III (born October 4, 1980), is an American lawyer and politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Massachusetts's 4th congressional district since 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, his congressional district extends from the western suburbs of Boston to the state's South Coast. A son of former Representative Joseph P. Kennedy II, he worked as a Peace Corps volunteer and as an assistant district attorney in the Cape and Islands and Middlesex County, Massachusetts offices before his election to Congress.

Kennedy is a grandson of U.S. Senator and former United States Attorney General Robert F. "Bobby" Kennedy, a grand-nephew of President John F. Kennedy and U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, and a great-grandson of Joseph Patrick Kennedy, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom. His great-grandmother Rose Kennedy was the daughter of John F. Fitzgerald, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and Mayor of Boston.

Born in Brighton, Massachusetts, Kennedy was raised in the Boston area with his twin brother, Matthew Rauch "Matt" Kennedy. After graduating from Stanford University he spent two years in the Dominican Republic as a member of the Peace Corps, and earned his law degree at Harvard Law School in 2009. He resigned as a prosecutor in early 2012 to run for the seat held by retiring Congressman Barney Frank. He was sworn into office in January 2013 and sits on the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Maxine Waters

Maxine Moore Waters (née Carr, August 15, 1938) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for California's 43rd congressional district since 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, Waters is currently in her 15th term in the House, having served since 1991. She previously represented the state's 29th district (1991–1993) and 35th district (1993–2013). She is the most senior of the twelve black women currently serving in Congress; she chaired the Congressional Black Caucus from 1997 to 1999.Before becoming a U.S. Representative, Waters served in the California State Assembly, to which she was first elected in 1976. As an Assemblywoman, she advocated divestment from South Africa's apartheid regime. In Congress, she had been an outspoken opponent of the Iraq War and of Republican Presidents George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush and Donald Trump.

Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Patricia Pelosi (; née D'Alesandro; born March 26, 1940) is an American politician serving as speaker of the United States House of Representatives since January 2019. First elected to Congress in 1987, she is the only woman to have served as speaker, and is the highest-ranking elected woman in United States history. Pelosi is second in the presidential line of succession, immediately after the vice president.A member of the Democratic Party, Pelosi is in her 17th term as a congresswoman, representing California's 12th congressional district (since 2013), which consists of four-fifths of the city and county of San Francisco. She initially represented the 5th district (1987–1993), and then, when district boundaries were redrawn after the 1990 Census, the 8th district (1993–2013). She has led House Democrats since 2003 (the first woman to lead a party in Congress), serving twice each as Speaker (2007–2011 and 2019–present) and as House Minority Leader (2003–2007 and 2011–2019) depending upon whether Democrats or Republicans held the majority; she has also served as House Minority Whip (2002–2003).

Pelosi was a major opponent of the Iraq War as well as the Bush Administration's 2005 attempt to privatize Social Security. During her first speakership, she was instrumental in the passage of many landmark bills, including the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act, along with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and 2010 Tax Relief Act, which served as economic stimulus amidst the Great Recession.

In the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats won control of the House. Afterward, when the 116th Congress convened on January 3, 2019, Pelosi was elected Speaker for the second time, becoming the first former speaker to return to the post since Sam Rayburn in 1955.

State of the Union

The State of the Union Address (sometimes abbreviated to SOTU) is an annual message delivered by the President of the United States to a joint session of the United States Congress at the beginning of each calendar year in office. The message typically includes a budget message and an economic report of the nation, and also allows the President to propose a legislative agenda and national priorities.The address fulfills the requirement in Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution for the President to periodically "give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." During most of the country's first century, the President primarily only submitted a written report to Congress. After 1913, Woodrow Wilson, the 28th U.S. President, began the regular practice of delivering the address to Congress in person as a way to rally support for the President's agenda. With the advent of radio and television, the address is now broadcast live across the country on many networks.

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