State of the Union

‘Mr. President, get real’: Democrats reject Trump’s SOTU alarm about socialism
Republicans have increasingly referred to Democrats as socialists, but Trump remarks take attack to new heights

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., pictured walking through Statuary Hall to the House chamber for President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Feb. 5, dismissed Trump’s remark about the rise of socialism as “demagoguing.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican efforts to label the Democratic Party as socialists reached a new high Tuesday night as President Donald Trump used his State of the Union address to further that partisan message — prompting groans and grimaces from Democrats. 

“We are alarmed by the new calls to adopt socialism in our country,” Trump said. “America was founded on liberty and independence, and not government coercion, domination and control. We are born free and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”

How the 2020 Democrats reacted to Trump’s State of the Union address
Gabbard spent most of it on her phone, Sanders was editing his response

President Donald Trump and others in the House chamber applaud during his State of the Union address Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was one of the few Democrats to sit next to a Republican during the State of the Union address Tuesday night, but she spent much of it on her phone. Sen. Bernie Sanders, pen in hand, reviewed and edited the prepared text of his response during the first part of the speech. Rep. Tim Ryan stood in the back looking bored most of the time.

The rest of the Democratic lawmakers running or considering bids for president in 2020 paid more attention to President Donald Trump as he spoke but often sat stone-faced in reaction to his assertions and promises.

Rick Perry named ‘designated survivor’ for State of the Union address
Former Texas governor once advocated abolition of federal agency he now heads

Energy Secretary Rick Perry was this year’s “designated survivor” during President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Energy Secretary Rick Perry will be this year’s “designated survivor” for President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night. 

The macabre but important ritual keeps one cabinet-level official out of sight on State of the Union night and out of harm’s way. The idea is that in the event of a horrific disaster or attack on the prime-time event, a clear line of presidential succession is maintained. With members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, the cabinet and joint chiefs of staff all in one room, one person is hidden away in a secure location to ensure that government can continue if the worst were to happen.

DACA recipients attending SOTU don’t want their legal status traded for the wall
‘I refuse to trade my community for a status,’ El Paso DACA recipient Senaida Navar says

Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, far left, brought Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipient Senaida Navar as her guest to State of the Union address on Tuesday. Navar said she does not want her legal status traded for a border wall. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Several Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients attending the State of the Union Tuesday as guests of House Democrats said they do not want their legal status traded for a border wall. 

President Donald Trump tried to end the DACA program, which provides young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children temporary legal status, but federal courts have so far blocked him from doing so. During various times over the past two years, Trump has floated trading statutory protections for DACA recipients — sometimes permanent, other times time temporary — for funding for a southern border wall.

As security tightens on Capitol Hill, here’s what you need to know for the State of the Union
Trump set to address lawmakers Tuesday night

The heightened security posture for Tuesday’s State of the Union will impact daily life on Capitol Hill. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The State of the Union address won’t start until prime time Tuesday night, but the logistical impact will be felt much earlier for everyone visiting and working on Capitol Hill.

Months of planning go into security preparations for the event, which are a coordinated effort among the Secret Service, Capitol Police, the Metropolitan Police Department, the U.S. Park Police and more. Security is paramount with so many of the nation’s leaders all in once place, including leaders of all three branches of government and a large swath of the line of presidential succession.

Wearing white to the State of the Union isn’t what it used to be
Democrats go for a more positive fashion statement than the one they made in 2017

Democratic women wore white to President Donald Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress in 2017. They’re bringing back the color for his State of the Union this year to highlight their new majority’s economic agenda for women. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democratic women plan to break out their white suits and dresses Tuesday for President Donald Trump’s State of the Union. The color may be the same, but the reason has changed.

“This is really going to be sending a message — especially to all the women and their families in the country that put us into the majority with all these new women [members] — that a big part of our agenda is going to be promoting the economic security of women and their families,” Rep. Lois Frankel, chair of the Democratic Women’s Working Group, said in an interview. 

Road closures for Tuesday’s 2019 State of the Union
Here’s what you need to know, and avoid, on the Tuesday night Washington evening commute

All roads leading to and from the Capitol will be closed to vehicles starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in anticipation of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

All roads leading to and from the Capitol will be closed to vehicles starting Tuesday at 7 p.m. in anticipation of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m., the roads closest to the Capitol will be restricted to people credentialed to attend the event and authorized pedestrians. Those include:

Donald Trump and the chamber of 2020 rivals
Political Theater, Episode 54

When Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union, it will be in a House chamber filled with 2020 presidential rivals. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to both chambers of Congress on Feb. 5, he will not be the only star of the night. Several Democrats seeking to replace him — and there are many —  could end up stealing the limelight, says Nathan Gonzales, publisher of Inside Elections and Roll Call’s elections analyst.

Pelosi and Trump agree on Feb. 5 for rescheduled State of the Union
Speaker had requested president delay address when government was shut down

President Donald Trump, here giving his 2018 State of the Union Address in the House chamber, will deliver this year’s address on Feb. 5 after he and Speaker Nancy Pelosi agreed to reschedule it when the government was reopened. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump have agreed that he will hold his State of the Union address in the House chamber on Feb. 5.

Pelosi sent Trump a letter Monday formally inviting him to deliver the address next Tuesday, which she noted was the date they agreed to in a conversation.

Trump agrees to initial Pelosi request and delays State of the Union
President tweets that he will deliver address when the shutdown is over

President Donald J. Trump, here in the House chamber during his 2018 State of the Union address, now says he will wait until the government shutdown ends before delivering this year’s speech. (POOL Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

In an odd ending to the drama surrounding the State of the Union, President Donald Trump agreed to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s initial request and said he will delay delivery of the address until the partial government shutdown is over. 

“I will do the address when the Shutdown is over,” Trump said in a two-part tweet late Wednesday night. “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.”