What To Watch For In President Trump’s Address To Congress

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Feb 28, 2017

“It’s T-Day” as one trader put it this morning. President Trump will address a joint session of Congress Tuesday night for the first time as president in a much anticipated speech with a lot of hyped-up hope hanging on it.

As The Hill notes, the speech isn’t an official State of the Union – that will come next year – but it’s a chance for Trump to set out his legislative priorities after a tumultuous first month that has at times rattled congressional Republicans.

Here are five things to watch for in Trump’s speech…

Will Trump stay dark or go light?
The president’s first major address to the American people offered a grim view of the country he was elected to lead. At his inauguration, Trump painted a picture of a nation in decline, marked by “American carnage” such as “rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape” and marauding criminal gangs plaguing major cities. Stephen Miller, the influential White House aide who wrote that speech, has been tasked with authoring this one, too. But White House officials say the address to Congress will present “an optimistic vision” aimed at how his administration will help Americans of all races, parties and economic status. He will also stress how his early actions, while controversial, have fulfilled campaign promises. Offering a positive message that appeals to people outside his base could help bring together a country that remains deeply divided over a presidential election in which Trump lost the popular vote. It would also break with the style that got Trump elected. And previous “pivots” telegraphed by his team have not panned out. Before the inaugural address, White House press secretary Sean Spicer, then a spokesman for the Trump transition effort, told reporters it would focus on “areas where he can unite the country.”
Will there be specifics?
After spending his first month handing down a flurry of executive orders, Trump looks ready to get down to business with Congress. Trump is not a policy wonk, and the White House says he’ll reaffirm his desire to work on broad goals such as tax reform and repealing and replacing ­ObamaCare . But Trump will eventually need to take a side in specific policy debates if he wants to get his agenda passed. For example, he’s been grappling with what to do about Medicaid if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. Millions of Americans gained coverage under the healthcare law’s Medicaid expansion. Figuring out if or how to provide coverage to those people if federal funds supporting the expansion are eliminated is a difficult question for the GOP. The White House has largely left the specifics to congressional Republicans. “Nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated,” Trump said during a meeting Monday with a group of governors.
Will Trump challenge the congressional GOP?

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