President Trump is scheduled to deliver his first formal State of the Union address to Congress and the nation on Jan. 30. On Jan. 29, Governance Studies at Brookings convened a panel of domestic policy experts to discuss what they hope to hear and what they expect to hear in this pivotal speech. After a year of challenging norms in Washington, will the president deliver a traditional State of the Union or a previously unimaginable tirade?
Panelists explored which post-tax-bill priorities the president is likely to highlight—with an emphasis on how well they align with the priorities of his political base and with those of Congress. Will the president propose policies that advance the well-being of struggling Americans, and if so, do they have any chance of succeeding? Will he rely on divisive campaign trail rhetoric, or demonstrate a willingness to work across the aisle? And most importantly, will his speech have an effect on policymaking—and on Americans’ lives—in the coming year?
After the session, panelists took audience questions. This event was webcast live.
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The State of the Union reversed the priorities: Trump mentioned “trade deals, immigrants, terrorism, and North Korea” as primary threats. Great power rivals were barely mentioned.