Trump's State of the Union address

039;Thousands' more children separated from parents at US border in 2017-18

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who won plaudits from Democrats for her hard-line negotiating tactics during the shutdown, will be seated behind the president - a visual reminder of Trump's political opposition. The appearance will be shadowed by the threat of another government shutdown. Even they will likely be disappointed, since Trump is likely to avoid telling this utterly false story about kidnappings at the border (apparently borrowed from the movie "Sicario: Day of the Soldado"), because it might be too easily disproved, even by Trumpian standards, in this august official setting.

Aides previewing the speech portrayed it as optimistic and unifying - the theme is to be "choosing greatness".

Mr Trump's own guests included the family of a woman murdered by an illegal migrant, the manager of a sawmill that recently reopened and a former opioid addict, highlighting his own priorities in office.

Sen. Gillibrand isn't the only one, though, as three Democratic members of the House of Representatives - Rep. A. Donald McEachin, Rep. Chris Pappas, and Rep. Jackie Speier - will do the same. "It doesn't pass the smell test".

There's good reason to believe the speech, like so many others apparently penned by his main speechwriter Stephen Miller, will be a series of empty clichés paired with lurid and possibly pornographic descriptions of violence committed by the dark-skinned immigrants who haunt Trump's imagination.

The very timing of the speech underscores the rancor in the room.

With the new February 15 funding deadline looming, Trump is expected to use his address to outline his demands, which still include funding for a wall along the US-Mexico border. Even more amazingly, he has done so as immigration restrictionists have signaled that the wall is a largely symbolic measure rather than a substantive achievement.

But broader cooperation seems unlikely, especially if Trump pushes forward with the border wall. The emergency declaration is designed for instances in which Congress does not have time to act; by threatening to declare an emergency at some eventual point only if Congress does not act, Trump is thus making clear that an emergency declaration would be inappropriate. But Trump has never shown an interest in doing that.

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"I think the conferees ought to reach an agreement and then we'll hope that the president finds it worth signing, " said McConnell, R-Ky.

At the moment, the president's clout within his own party looks more precarious than ever. "It's not just about a wall, it's about him being treated different than every other president". He'll seek to rally Americans around shared economic prosperity, renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, the USA effort to depose Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and forcing China to make concessions on trade.

Yes, of all the bullied children in the D.C metro area, not to mention the entire country, Melania chose a child with the same last name as hers. "The state of the Trump administration is embroiled in chaos and incompetence".

Some Republicans have criticized Trump's efforts to draw down military forces in Syria and Afghanistan.

Trump is also expected to address several foreign policy issues, such as trade talks with China, pulling U.S. troops out of Syria and Afghanistan, a diplomatic drive with North Korea and a growing political crisis in Venezuela, among others. For the Democrats in the audience, who don't have a speaking role, that will come down to atmospherics. Some Democratic women will be wearing white, the colourfavoured by early 20th-century suffragettes.

Putting the focus on rising prescription drug prices and what she sees as Trump's failure to live up to his promise to reduce them, Klobuchar has invited Nicole Holt-Smith, the mother of a diabetic who died because he couldn't keep up with the skyrocketing price of insulin.

-With assistance from Billy House and Laura Litvan.

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