President Trump is delivering his second State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress Tuesday night. He will be laying out his vision of the country and goals for his administration before an already divided body after being forced to delay his speech amid a partial government shutdown stemming from disputes over border security.
How to watch the State of the Union:
- What: President Trump’s State of the Union address
- Date: Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- Location: U.S. Capitol, chamber of the House of Representatives
- TV: On your local CBS station
- Live stream: Online on CBSN, the free news streaming service from CBS News. And on fuboTV — start a free trial.
State of the Union live updates — follow below:
Who’s coming to the State of the Union?
Bringing guests to the House chamber for the State of the Union address is a longstanding tradition. Lawmakers can each bring one guest, while the president may invite two dozen guests to sit in the first lady’s box.
The speaker of the House may also bring 24 guests to sit in the speaker’s box. In many cases, the guests epitomize an issue currently facing the nation or a lawmaker’s state. This year, as President Trump faces a busy legislative agenda where he continues to fight for border security funding, efforts to reform health care and stabilization of the nation’s economy, the guest list ranges from undocumented immigrants to veterans, or to parents of school shooting victims.
Find a list of the more notable guests here.
Republicans already saving SOTU seats
With several hours to go before President Trump’s arrival in the House chamber, at least six Republican members are already saving their center-aisle seats for optimal State of the Union viewing.
Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Miss., was seen passing the time by talking on the phone. His Mississippi colleague Rep. Trent Kelly was sitting behind him.
Rep. Jeff Duncan from South Carolina has the first aisle seat in the back row of the chamber, potentially the first person to shake President Trump’s hand when he enters. Meanwhile, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert was seen pacing the center aisle and Reps. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina and Billy Long of Missouri arrived to save aisle seats.
A lone Democrat joined the waiting group of Republicans in the House chamber around four hours before the address: Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey.
Reporting by Rebecca Kaplan and Bo Erickson
House Democrats to wear white for SOTU
CBS News has learned that most House Democrats will wear white to promote a message of economic security for women and families, according to the office of Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., chair of the Democratic Women’s Working Group.
The color is historically associated with the suffragette movement. Many Democrats also wore white to Mr. Trump’s 2017 State of the Union as a message in support of women’s rights.
Reporting by Rebecca Kaplan.
Will Trump talk border debate?
The president’s speech comes as congressional negotiators continue to work on a deal on border security before government funding for several departments runs out again on Feb. 15.
Mr. Trump, however, has cast doubt on the ability of negotiators to arrive at a satisfactory deal in time, putting the odds at less than “50-50.” On Friday, he signaled that he could declare a national emergency at the border in order to secure funding for the wall without congressional approval.
Democrats have said they would be willing to expand on a $1.6 billion proposal for border security programs, but have refused to provide any additional funding for the president’s border wall or any structural barrier. Mr. Trump is currently seeking $5.7 billion for his wall.
Who’s giving the Democratic rebuttal?
In traditional fashion, the opposing political party is given the opportunity to respond to the president’s address with a televised rebuttal. This year that honor falls to former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Party officials familiar with the plans say that Abrams will make the address Tuesday night from her hometown of Atlanta.
“She is just a great spokesperson. She’s an incredible leader. She has led the charge for voting rights which is at the root of just about everything else,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters last week. “And she really has, if you look at her background, she knows what middle class people, working class people go through.”
After the announcement, Abrams wrote on Twitter: “At a moment when our nation needs to hear from leaders who can unite for a common purpose, I am honored to be delivering the Democratic State of the Union response.”
An Abrams aide told CBS News on Tuesday her speech is “geared towards a national audience but certainly hits on the themes you expect from Leader Abrams: health care, the economy, education, etc. She’ll weave in personal experiences and deliver a speech that recognizes the gravity of the moment while providing a roadmap for unity and prosperity.”
The aide added that Abrams will be surrounded by Georgians during her speech, including “activists, labor leaders, health care professionals, educators, entrepreneurs, voters who struggled to vote in 2018 or who watched their communities struggle to vote, her family, and more.”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra will give the Democratic response in Spanish.
Trump speech comes after shutdown delay
Mr. Trump’s speech before Congress comes a week after the speech was initially scheduled. He agreed to postpone the speech, originally slated for Jan. 29, at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s request, until after the partial government shutdown was over. The 35-day shutdown ended on Jan. 25.
“As the Shutdown was going on, Nancy Pelosi asked me to give the State of the Union Address. I agreed. She then changed her mind because of the Shutdown, suggesting a later date. This is her prerogative — I will do the Address when the Shutdown is over,” Mr. Trump tweeted at the time. “I am not looking for an … alternative venue for the SOTU Address because there is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber. I look forward to giving a ‘great’ State of the Union Address in the near future!”
Mr. Trump’s speech is only the second State of the Union speech to be postponed. President Ronald Reagan postponed the speech in 1986 by a week following the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.