2019 State of the Union

Daily News Article   —   Posted on February 6, 2019

(Compiled from reports at CNN, Politico and Bloomberg News) — President Donald Trump appeared to suggest Friday that he will announce some kind of border wall action during Tuesday’s State of the Union address, which he will deliver at 9 p.m. EST.

Asked if he expects to declare a national emergency over the crisis at the border and the need for Congress to approve border wall funding, Trump told reporters: “I don’t want to say it, but you’ll hear the State of the Union, and then you’ll see what happens right after [that]. We’re going to make a big step in the next week or so, prior to my doing anything, but actually having a national emergency does help the process.”

Asked again if a national emergency should be expected, the President said: “I think there’s a good chance that we’ll have to do that. But we will at the same time be building, regardless, we’re building a wall….”

The president is also expected to urge Congress to compromise on issues including immigration and infrastructure in his Febuary 5 address, as he asks Democrats to focus on working with him on legislation. The theme of his speech will be “choosing greatness,” a White House official told reporters.

Trump’s speech “will focus on the bipartisan achievements we’ve already had, and look toward things that should be areas where we can work together” with Democrats, a White House official said.

“I really think it’s going to be a speech that is going to cover a lot of territory, but part of it is going to be unity,” Trump told reporters on Thursday.

Later Friday, a senior White House official explained the topics that President Trump will cover, including: the economy, illegal immigration, trade deals — including the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the US Reciprocal Trade Agreement Act and the deal with China — infrastructure, lowering the cost of health care and prescription drugs, and national security.

Compiled from reports at CNN, Politico and Bloomberg News published on February 1. Reprinted here for educational purposes only. 


The annual State of the Union Address is a time for a president to lay out his agenda for the nation.

“The President shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”  US Constitution Article II, Section 3

  • The State of the Union is an annual address presented by the President to the United States Congress. The address not only reports on the condition of the nation but also allows the president to outline his legislative agenda (for which he needs the cooperation of Congress) and his national priorities.
  • By tradition, the President makes this report annually.
  • While not required to deliver a speech, every president since Woodrow Wilson has made the State of the Union report as a speech delivered before a joint session of Congress. Before that time, most presidents delivered the State of the Union as a written report.
  • Since Wilson, the State of the Union is given typically each January before a joint session of the United States Congress and is held in the House of Representatives chamber of the United States Capitol.
  • George Washington gave the first state of the union address on January 8, 1790 at the Federal Hall in New York City.
  • Thomas Jefferson, the nation’s third president, did not continue this practice. In 1801, Jefferson detailed his priorities and sent written copies of his message to each house of Congress. Jefferson “was concerned that the practice of appearing before the representatives of the people was too similar to the British monarch’s ritual of addressing the opening of each new Parliament with a list of policy mandates, rather than ‘recommendations.’”
  • For the next 112 years, the President’s annual message was written, not spoken.
  • In the 20th Century, the oral address was revived, first with Woodrow Wilson in 1913. Like Washington, he spoke to both Houses of Congress. Ten years later, Calvin Coolidge broadcast his address on radio.
  • Franklin D Roosevelt called the speech the “State of the Union” in 1935. In 1947, Harry Truman, FDR’s vice president – who succeeded him as President, was the first to broadcast his State of the Union address on television.
  • Since 1966, the State of the Union address has been followed by a response from a member of the opposition party.