President Donald Trump called for unity in his 2019 State of the Union speech, saying as he began the address delayed because of a government shutdown, “The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican Agenda or a Democrat Agenda. It is the agenda of the American People.”
Trump spoke for nearly an hour and a half.
Below are live updates of the speech.
Sen. Kamala Harris’ response
Bernie Sanders’ response
A call for a strong union
10:55 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2018: Abrams ends the Democratic response with a plea for unity. “Our progress has always found refuge in the basic instinct of the American experiment – to do right by our people. And with a renewed commitment to social and economic justice, we will create a stronger America, together.
“Because America wins by fighting for our shared values against all enemies: foreign and domestic. That is who we are – and when we do so, never wavering - the state of our union will always be strong.”
The fight continues
10:52 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Abrams: “In this time of division and crisis, we must come together and stand for, and with, one another.
“America has stumbled time and again on its quest towards justice and equality; but with each generation, we have revisited our fundamental truths, and where we falter, we make amends.
“We fought Jim Crow with the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, yet we continue to confront racism from our past and in our present – which is why we must hold everyone from the very highest offices to our own families accountable for racist words and deeds – and call racism what it is. Wrong.
“America achieved a measure of reproductive justice in Roe v. Wade, but we must never forget it is immoral to allow politicians to harm women and families to advance a political agenda. We affirmed marriage equality, and yet, the LGBTQ community remains under attack.”
Health care reform
10:50 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Abrams is talking about how many struggle with health care costs.
“Rather than suing to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, as Republican attorneys general have, our leaders must protect the progress we’ve made and commit to expanding health care and lowering costs for everyone.”
“My father has battled prostate cancer for years. To help cover the costs, I found myself sinking deeper into debt – because while you can defer some payments, you can’t defer cancer treatment.
“In this great nation, Americans are skipping blood pressure pills, forced to choose between buying medicine or paying rent.
“Maternal mortality rates show that mothers, especially black mothers, risk death to give birth.
“And in 14 states, including my home state where a majority want it, our leaders refuse to expand Medicaid, which could save rural hospitals, economies, and lives.”
Republicans don’t understand real life
10:45 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Abrams: “In Georgia and around the country, people are striving for a middle class where a salary truly equals economic security.
“But instead, families’ hopes are being crushed by Republican leadership that ignores real life or just doesn’t understand it. Under the current administration, far too many hard-working Americans are falling behind, living paycheck to paycheck, most without labor unions to protect them from even worse harm.
“The Republican tax bill rigged the system against working people. Rather than bringing back jobs, plants are closing, layoffs are looming and wages struggle to keep pace with the actual cost of living.”
Shutdown was a ‘stunt’
10:43 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Abrams: “Just a few weeks ago, I joined volunteers to distribute meals to furloughed federal workers. They waited in line for a box of food and a sliver of hope since they hadn’t received a paycheck in weeks.
“Making their livelihoods a pawn for political games is a disgrace.
“The shutdown was a stunt engineered by the President of the United States, one that defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people - but our values.”
Abrams is speaking now
10:39 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Stacey Abrams is giving the Democratic response now. She is talking about her family and American values.
“Our power and strength as Americans lives in our hard work and our belief in more. My family understood firsthand that while success is not guaranteed, we live in a nation where opportunity is possible. But we do not succeed alone – in these United States, when times are tough, we can persevere because our friends and neighbors will come for us. Our first responders will come for us.”
The speech has ended
10:30 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: The speech is over. Stacey Abrams will be giving the Democratic response in a few minutes.
Issuing a challenge
10:29 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Trump, at the end of his speech, asks the Congress to step up and be a part of a better future.
“I ask the men and women of this Congress: Look at the opportunities before us! Our most thrilling achievements are still ahead. Our most exciting journeys still await. Our biggest victories are still to come. We have not yet begun to dream.
“We must choose whether we are defined by our differences -- or whether we dare to transcend them. We must choose whether we squander our inheritance -- or whether we proudly declare that we are Americans. We do the incredible. We defy the impossible. We conquer the unknown.
“This is the time to re-ignite the American Imagination.”
Recognizing guests; a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’
10:20 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: The president is recognizing some of his guests. He acknowledges SWAT officer Timothy Matson who was injured in the mass shooting in Pittsburgh last fall at the same time he was saving lives.
Judah Samet was also at the synagogue when the shooting took place. Samet was a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp. It is his 81st birthday and those in the chamber sang “Happy Birthday” to him.
Trump tells the story of Samet’s family and the liberation of Europe by the Americans.
In addition to Samet, Trump tells the story of Joshua Kaufman, a prisoner at Dachau and Herman Zeitchick who helped liberate Dachau and Kaufman.
They sat next to each other in the gallery.
Afghanistan decision explained
10:14 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Trump: “I have also accelerated our negotiations to reach a political settlement in Afghanistan.
“Our troops have fought with unmatched valor -- and thanks to their bravery, we are now able to pursue a political solution to this long and bloody conflict. In Afghanistan, my administration is holding constructive talks with a number of Afghan groups, including the Taliban.
“As we make progress in these negotiations, we will be able to reduce our troop presence and focus on counterterrorism.
“We do not know whether we will achieve an agreement -- but we do know that after two decades of war, the hour has come to at least try for peace. Above all, friend and foe alike must never doubt this nation's power and will to defend our people.”
Calls for socalism will go unanswered
10:11 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Trump mentions a growing call for socialism in the U.S. “Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence -- 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.
Late-term abortion and the governor of Virginia
10 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Trump asks for legislation banning late-term abortion.
“I am also proud to be the first President to include in my budget a plan for nationwide paid family leave -- so that every new parent has the chance to bond with their newborn child.
“There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our nation saw in recent days. Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother's womb moments before birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful, babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world.
“And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth. To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother's womb.”
Health care, pre-existing conditions and Grace
9:58 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: “The next major priority for me, and for all of us, should be to lower the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs -- and to protect patients with pre-existing conditions.” The chamber stands and claps.
The president introduces Grace and before he can finish, she stands and claps -- and the chamber joins in.
“Tonight I am also asking you to join me in another fight that all Americans can get behind: the fight against childhood cancer. Joining Melania in the gallery this evening is a very brave 10 year old girl, Grace Eline. Every birthday since she was 4, Grace asked her friends to donate to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. She did not know that one day she might be a patient herself. Last year, Grace was diagnosed with brain cancer. Immediately, she began radiation treatment. At the same time, she rallied her community and raised more than $40,000 dollars for the fight against cancer.”
A new deal with China
9:56 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Trump: “We are now making it clear to China that after years of targeting our industries, and stealing our intellectual property, the theft of American jobs and wealth has come to an end. ... I have great respect for President Xi, and we are now working on a new trade deal with China.
Cheering for the women
9:45 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Trump: “No one has benefitted more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58 percent of the new jobs created in the last year. All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before,.”
The chamber erupts in cheers and Trump says, “Wait, don’t sit down, you’re gonna like this next one.
“Exactly one century after Congress passed the Constitutional Amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in Congress than ever before.”
A family’s tragedy
9:42 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Trump recognizes the family of a couple killed by an undocumented immigrant. “Here tonight is Debra Bissell. Just three weeks ago, Debra's parents, Gerald and Sharon, were burglarized and shot to death in their Reno, Nevada home by an illegal alien. They were in their eighties and are survived by 4 children, 11 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren.”
Taking a swipe
9:41 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Trump: “Tonight, I am asking you to defend our very dangerous southern border out of love and devotion to our fellow citizens and to our country. No issue better illustrates the divide between America's working class and America's politcal class than illegal immigration.
“Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards. Meanwhile, working class Americans are left to pay the price for mass illegal migration -- reduced jobs, lower wages, overburdened schools and hospitals, increased crime, and a depleted social safety net.”
Immigration and caravans headed to the southern border
9:37 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Trump is discussing immigration now. He says, “As we speak, large, organized caravans are on the march to the United States. We have just heard that Mexican cities, in order to remove the illegal immigrants from their communities, are getting trucks and buses to bring them up to our country in areas where there is little border protection. I have ordered another 3,750 troops to our Southern Border to prepare for the tremendous onslaught. This is a mora issue. The lawless state of our Southern Border is a threat to the safety, security and financial well-being of all Americans.”
He is booed when he talks about the migrant caravan.
Acknowledging two of his guests
9:30 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Trump recognizes Alice Johnson, whom he pardoned from prison, and Matthew Charles, the first person to be released from prison under the First Step Act.
Trump: “Only one thing can sidetrack progress”
9:25 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: An economic miracle is taking place in the United States -- and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations. If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation.” The camera lingered on Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
The ‘state of our union is strong’
9:24 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: After proclaiming the “state of our union is strong” members of Congress chant “USA, USA, USA.”
Democrats staying seated, Republicans are cheering
9:17 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: The president is listing his administration’s accomplishments as Democrats remain in their seats, not clapping. Some are shaking their head. Trump says, “In just over two years since the election, we have launched an unprecedented economic boom -- a boom that has rarely been seen before. We have created 5.3 million new jobs and importantly added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs -- something which almost everyone said was impossible to do, but the fact is, we are just getting started. Wages are rising at the fastest pace in decades, and growing for blue collar workers, who I promised to fight for, faster than anyone else. Nearly 5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps.”
The speech is beginning
9:09 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Trump is laying out a tone of unity saying, “The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican Agenda or a Democrat Agenda. It is the agenda of the American people. Many of us campaigned on the same core promises: to defend American jobs and demand fair trade for American workers; to rebuild and revitalize our nation's infrastructure; to reduce the price of healthcare and prescription drugs; to create an immigration system that is safe, lawful, modern and secure; and to pursue a foreign policy that puts America's interests first.
“There is a new opportunity in American politics, if only we have the courage to seize it. Victory is not winning for our party. Victory is winning for our country.”
The president is being announced
9:03 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: President Trump is being introduced by the sergeant-at-arms, and is making his way to the front of the chamber.
The president’s Cabinet is here now
8:59 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: The members of the president’s Cabinet are making their way to their seats.
The first lady is seated
8:57 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: First lady Melania Trump has enter the House Chamber and taken her seat.
The session has been called to order
8:48 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Nancy Pelosi has called the House to order in anticipation of the president’s arrival for the speech.
Who is the designated survivor?
8:46 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, is the “designated survivor” for the State of the Union speech. Each year, one member of the president’s Cabinet stays away from the House of Representatives in the unlikely event that something happens to the president and high members of the U.S. government during the speech.
He’s on the way
8:41 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Trump has left the White House to travel to Capitol Hill.
Applause for Pence and the Senators
8:36 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Vice President Mike Pence has entered the House chamber as have most of the Senate. Applause broke out when they came in.
What Abrams will say
8:31 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams will give the Democratic response to the State of the Union. Here are a few excerpts from her speech:
“Just a few weeks ago, I joined volunteers to distribute meals to furloughed federal workers. They waited in line for a box of food and a sliver of hope since they hadn’t received a paycheck in weeks.
“... The shutdown was a stunt engineered by the President of the United States, one that defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people - but our values.”
We’re No. 1
8:23 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: According to excerpts from the speech released by the White House, the president will say:
“We have unleashed a revolution in American Energy – the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world.”
“After 24 months of rapid progress, our economy is the envy of the world, our military is the most powerful on earth, and America is winning each and every day.”
Summit to be announced
8:06 p.m. ET Feb. 5, 2019: According to Politico, “Trump told TV anchors in a meeting today that he plans to announce the details of a two-day summit with Kim Jong Un. He said it will be in Vietnam on Feb. 27 and 28.
Which justices will be there?
8 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Four of the nine Supreme Court justices are expected to attend the speech. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and associate justices Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh will be there.
What will he say?
7:54 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: According to the White House, the theme of the State of the Union is “Choosing Greatness.”
“Together, we can break decades of political stalemate,” Trump will say. “We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make.”
Pelosi’s guest tonight
7:44 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: The president isn’t the only one who can invite guests to the speech. Members of Congress may also invite guests. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has invited Fred Guttenberg whose son, Jamie, was killed in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last February.
All dressed in white
7:27 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: The Democratic women of the House and Senate will be dressed in white as they attend the State of the Union. The coordinated clothing is an acknowledgment of the women's suffrage movement 100 years ago.
Congressmen who don’t plan on showing up
7:10 p.m. ET, Feb. 5, 2019: Four lawmakers say they will be boycotting President Trump's State of the Union address tonight: Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.)