5 Takeaways From Trump’s 2019 State of the Union Address
President Donald Trump delivered his second State of the Union address on Tuesday night, originally scheduled for a week ago, but delayed due to the partial shutdown of the federal government.
The president focused on several key issues, including immigration and the border, rising healthcare costs, and abortion.
Ahead of Tuesday night’s address, Trump said the theme of his speech would be creating “unity” between both parties in Congress. However, the president’s calls for bipartisanship also included several jabs at the Democratic party’s further left agenda.
Here are five takeaways from president Trump’s second State of the Union speech.
Trump will meet with Kim Jong Un
In his address, the president revealed plans for a two-day summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam later this month. The meeting would be Trump’s second summit with the North Korean leader, with whom the president says he has a good relationship.
Trump also boasted that the U.S. would be at war with North Korea, resulting in “potentially millions of people killed” if he were not elected.
The president will not back down on a border wall
Throughout his address, the president urged both parties to work together, calling for a rejection of “the politics of revenge, resistance, and retribution.” Instead, he said, Americans should embrace compromise and “choose greatness.”
Citing the longest government shutdown in U.S. history over funding for his Southern border wall, Trump said there are just 10 days left for Congress to pass a bill to “secure our very dangerous Southern border” in order to avoid another shutdown. The president added that he would never abolish ICE, a rallying cry of some prominent Democrats during the 2018 midterms.
Trump takes firm stance against New York’s landmark abortion law
Last month, lawmakers in New York passed a new law expanding abortion rights in the state on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The law would protect access to the procedure until 24 weeks of pregnancy in an effort to standardize abortion protections if Roe v. Wade were ever overturned.
Taking a firm, anti-abortion stance, Trump called on Congress to pass legislation that would prohibit what he called “late-term abortion,” language criticized as both anti-choice and medically inaccurate by reproductive rights advocates.
Protecting patients with pre-existing conditions
The president said Congress should prioritize lowering the costs of healthcare and prescription drugs, adding that people with pre-existing conditions must receive protections. “It is unacceptable that Americans pay vastly more than people in other countries for the exact same drugs,” he said.
However, the Trump administration has launched various attacks on pre-existing conditions protections afforded by the Affordable Care Act.
The president condemns anti-Semitism
“We must never ignore the vile poison of anti-Semitism, or those who spread its venomous creed,” the president said in his speech. He added that anti-Semitism must be confronted everywhere.
The president has been accused of failing to condemn such instances of bigotry since taking office, as the U.S. has seen an uptick in anti-Semitic incidents and white supremacist organizing under the Trump administration. The Anti-Defamation League recorded nearly 2,000 cases of harassment, vandalism, and physical attacks on Jewish institutions in 2017, the highest number since 1994.