2018 State of the Union Address

overview and analysis of speaker claims

PBS NewsHour

Tuesday night, President Donald Trump gave his first State of the Union address and touched on the government’s accomplishments in healthcare, immigration and the economy. Several Democrats remained standing when the president entered the House Chamber and booed him during his stance on immigration, but Trump continued in his attempts to propose a compromise on the topic.

Besides his mention of the tax laws instated that will eliminate fines on people without healthcare in 2019, Trump addressed the expensive prescription drug industry.

“One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs,” he said. “In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States and it’s very, very unfair.’’

Some other countries regulate or compromise the price of pharmaceuticals with companies, but in the United States, the government has historically been discouraged from interfering with capitalism, protecting minority businesses.

In regard to immigration, Trump said he wants to do away with allowing just anyone to be brought into the United States with an immigrant, and limit memberships to immediate family: spouses and minor children.

“Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives,” Trump said.

Legally, immigrants who are citizens or have a green card can petition to bring in relatives, but the relatives still have to apply for residency and go through national security.

Globally, Trump stated the progress of the war against ISIS.

“The coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria,” Trump said.

Only 89% has been recovered, but Trump has given military officers more authority to make battlefield decisions, which may further the defeat of ISIS.

He also mentioned the effects of tax cuts on the economy, particularly on workers.

“Since we passed tax cuts, roughly three million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses- many of them thousands of dollars per worker,” Trump said.

Democratic representative Joseph P. Kennedy III gave a response at the Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School in River Fall, Massachusetts after the address. At one point, in Spanish, he spoke specifically to Dreamers, undocumented workers brought to the United States as children.

“You are a part of our story,” Kennedy said. “We will fight for you. We will not walk away.”

One topic Trump mentioned several times in the address was patriotism and national unity. He finished his address by reinforcing these ideas.

“Americans fill the world with art and music. They push the bounds of science and discovery. And they forever remind us of what we should never ever forget. The people dreamed this country, the people built this country, and it’s the people who are making America great again.”

Watch: Joseph P. Kennedy III response