Trump hits back at Democrat rival ahead of State of the Union

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-Investment in infrastructure - a topic the president has been talking about for years.

Trump accepted no blame for his role in cultivating the rancorous atmosphere in the nation's capital, and he didn't outline a clear path for collaborating with Democrats who are eager to block his agenda. Republicans hold 52 seats to the Democrats' 47 seats in the Senate.

"We can make our communities safer, our families stronger, our culture richer, our faith deeper, and our middle class bigger and more prosperous than ever before", Trump said. They oppose a border wall and are pushing to amnesty roughly 3 million illegals who say they arrived as children, and to get green cards for roughly 300,000 migrants who are being allowed to stay because of the Temporary Protected Status program.

Trump was not expected to issue the emergency declaration in his speech, according to four people familiar with his plans who were not authorized to preview his remarks. "He will also call on Congress to replace the NAFTA disaster by approving the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement", said the official.

White House officials confirmed as much, telling NPR they requested a security walk-through as though the speech would still take place on January 29.

As he stood before lawmakers, the president was surrounded by symbols of his emboldened political opposition.

Administration officials say the White House has also been weighing several "moonshot" goals.

Delivering the Democratic Party's response to his State of the Union address, Abrams struck a tone that might influence other Democrats still searching for the right way to challenge Trump in the election in 2020, when he will seek a second term.

Abrams is a rising star in the Democratic party, and was the first black female majority party candidate to run for governor in USA history.

Moreover, in the aftermath of reports of racist photos involving Virginia's Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, Abrams' words will increasingly be in the spotlight. Her presence is evidence of the newly empowered House Democrats.

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What's different from previous year?

Trump accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) of "playing games".

To acknowledge this historic diversity, many lawmakers will be wearing white, a nod to the women's suffrage movement.

"It's a dynamic created in the television age but it's also a demonstration for the country that the executive and legislative branches are separate but equal powers", said Jennifer Palmieri, former communications director for President Barack Obama and a top aide on Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign.

At least one male lawmaker, Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., plans on joining his female colleagues in wearing all white.

At 9pm EST (10am on Wednesday, Singapore time) before a joint session of Congress, Trump likely will stir contention with remarks on immigration policy, after his demand for US$5.7 billion (S$7.7 billion) in wall funds triggered a historic 35-day partial government shutdown that more than half of Americans blamed him for, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling. So far this year, only five Democrats have publicly announced their decision not to attend, including Georgia Reps.

The speech will have offer a "unifying, bipartisan and optimistic tone", officials said. "Making their livelihoods a pawn for political games is a disgrace".

In the chamber will be several Democrats vying to replace Trump and rising party stars such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY. In September, Archila confronted then-Sen.

"Presidents have walked into that chamber in weakened positions before", said Jon Meacham, a presidential historian and author, invoking Bill Clinton after Republicans swept the 1994 midterm elections.

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