Numbers from Trump’s speech:
- Trump’s proposed infrastructure budget: $1 trillion
- Arizona’s Obamacare premium increase: 116 percent
- Americans living in poverty: 43.1 million
Trump addresses Congress and Democrats
Trump took a calm tone to the Capitol tonight as he addressed a joint session of Congress.
The president stayed on the same topics he has since his inauguration, but he was noticeably rehearsed and stuck to the prepared script. The speech included references to health care reform, crime and infrastructure. While the subjects of the president’s speech have been discussed before, this time we saw the explicit reactions of members of Congress.
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin was rather enthusiastic during the speech, breaking away from his Democratic colleagues. Manchin applauded when Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch was mentioned and when the president called to “make America great again.” Manchin has been raising eyebrows on the left as he voted to confirm Attorney General Jeff Sessions and held a meeting with Breitbart News editors.
In red states like West Virginia, Manchin represents the Democratic party’s problems in 2018. They’re defending nine Senate seats in states where Trump won, including Ohio. While Manchin is trying to find some sort of middle ground with Trump, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown has become a national figure in the Democratic opposition.
Looking forward to 2018, the question is whether Brown can win re-election in a state that Trump carried by 400,000 votes. By comparison, Brown won his 2012 election by a similar margin and a strong showing in the northeastern counties of the state, where Trump flipped multiple Democratic counties.