President Trump was scheduled to deliver the 2019 State of the Union address to Congress and the nation on January 29. However, Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked that he reschedule his address—or deliver it in writing—as long as the government remains shut down. After a few days of brinkmanship with the Speaker, President Trump agreed to delay his speech until the government reopens. On January 28, Governance Studies at Brookings convened a panel of policy experts to examine this unique circumstance and discuss what they expect to hear or read in this year’s speech—whenever and however it is delivered.
Panelists explored which legislative priorities the president is likely to propose—with an emphasis on how the administration will deal with a newly emboldened Democratic majority in the House. Will the president highlight policies that his political base supports or will he try to advance bipartisan goals? Can the president expect any bipartisan support from a divided Congress? How will the speech play as the 2020 campaign trail gears up?
After the session, panelists answered questions from the audience.