What to expect from tonight's State of the Union address

Tonight is President Donald Trump’s second State of the Union address, where the president speaks to the members of Congress, the Supreme Court and some special guests invited by the commander-in-chief himself. It’s basically a year-in-review report with a look to the future that’s televised across the country.

This past year has been *filled* with up, downs, tweets and a constant flow of news that, if you tried to read about it all, it would probably keep you busy through the rest of the presidency—and beyond. Here’s what you can expect at tonight’s SOTU.

At the end of last year, Trump implemented a new tax plan that gave the wealthy and large corporations a huge tax cut. The thought process behind giving the rich a tax break is that they will increase salaries for their workers with the extra money they saved. In the past, this kind of tax cut has proven unsuccessful in the United States. For example, from 2008-2015 AT&T used tax breaks to cut their workforce and reinvest in their own company, rather than creating new job opportunities. However, the economy is currently on a high note. The stock market (a.k.a. the way we can tell how the economy is doing) has been booming and is up (a good thing) since the year began, but has been down the past couple of days (yikes).

Tonight, Trump will likely talk about the success of the change. However, this is *not* the first overhaul since U.S. past-President Ronald Reagan's in the 1980s nor the largest one in history, as Trump has mentioned in the past. Similarly, there have been 2.4 million jobs added to the economy, but some of those are from the last three months of President Barack Obama’s term.

Earlier this month the government shut down due to an inability to pass a budget for the upcoming year. This was due to the fact that Democrats and Republicans did not want to negotiate. The government started back up after Democrats agreed to pass a short-term funding bill. However, they compromised on their long-held promise to deal with the current immigration issue. One word—or acronym, rather—you’ll hear a lot tonight is DACA. This stands for “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” which is a program that protects people—known as “dreamers”—that came illegally to America as children.

Supporters of this program say that getting rid of this and deporting people would hurt those who have lived in this country their whole lives and were too young to understand the consequences of their family’s decision. Trump has been trying to get rid of this program since taking office, as he promised on the campaign trail to reduce the number of immigrants in the country. Now he says he will keep DACA if he receives funding—a down payment of $25 billion—for the well-known wall between the United States and Mexico and some immigration restrictions.

This leads right into Trump’s need for bipartisan support on his immigration plans. Bipartisanship is when political parties with opposing views cooperate to get a bill passed. Put simply, this hasn’t been too easy over the past year. Trump will likely talk about the need for such an agreement between parties to get new policies passed into law, especially since he is looking to pass an infrastructure bill, which he knows he cannot do without Democrats’ help.

And if all of this still seems like too much to comprehend, at least you can be confident in your ability to spell “union” properly after watching it. 

You can watch the State of the Union Address on ABC News tonight at 8:15 p.m. EST.


by Alyson Trager | 1/30/2018