Key Takeaways from the State of the Union Address

Last night, President Trump addressed the country in his previously-postponed State of the Union. He made promises, dismissed “ridiculous partisan investigations,” and addressed his agenda for moving forward in his third year as President. Overall, he seemed to stick with the theme of unity, but let's just say that doesn’t look promising.

Trump listed a lot that he’s happy about, including the economy, the First Step Act, new trade deals, and women.

The economy? Yes, President Trump says wages are rising, jobs are up, and the new tax plan is doing wonders for working families and businesses. In short, the middle class is growing and the divide between the elite has never been bigger. Tax cuts for the rich were obviously not mentioned, nor was last months stock market crash but, rally on Mr. President.

There was also a noticeable amount of guests mentioned in the speech, including two that have been involved in the First Step Act. The bipartisan legislation was a major update to criminal justice reform which Trump signed late last year. It includes provisions for sentencing reform, such as shortening some mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses and addressing racial disparities in the federal prison system. Trump invited Matthew Charles, whom he says is the first person released from jail as a result of the legislation. Additionally, Alice Johnson, whose sentence he commuted last year before signing the bill. Kim Kardashian worked alongside President Trump in an effort to get Alice released last year.

Trump also uncharacteristically celebrated women. Last night there was a sea of suffragette white. The House Democratic Women’s Working Group invited women of both political parties to wear white to honor the legacy of women’s suffrage in the United States. With a record number of women serving in Congress, the sartorial choice creates a powerful visual representation of elected women’s leadership. Trump gave the new women a quick shoutout in his speech which was received with chants, hugs, and celebration.

On another note, there was plenty the President had to complain about. Shocker.

In short, he criticized Democrats' placid nature and lack of action on his beloved border wall. Yes, he's still trying to get that funding. He made his pitch by calling illegal immigration a threat to national security and the economy. He also threw around the usual name-calling, saying that “America is committed to ending illegal immigration and putting the ruthless coyotes, cartels, drug dealers, and human traffickers out of business.” He also emphasized that ICE isn't going away.

President Trump is also asking Congress to protect patients with pre-existing conditions, tackle childhood cancer, and ban late-term abortions. His comments on abortion were some of the most polarizing statements he made all night. Trump referenced a newly passed law in New York that allows abortions after 24 weeks if the fetus is not viable or when necessary to protect the life of the mother. The Reproductive Health Act also preserves access to abortions and removes abortion from the state’s criminal code, among other protections.

Trump said, “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.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo responded with, "Tonight President Trump proposed rolling back the protections provided by Roe v Wade — the law of our nation for 46 years affirmed and reaffirmed by numerous Supreme Courts. Never. New York has a message to those who spread lies and fear to control women's reproductive health decisions: Not going to happen. Not now, not ever."

We are not standing down Mr. President. Whether it’s equality and representation for women, the right of choice, or protecting immigrants as they seek refuge in our great nation, we are here to question your authority and stand for what is right.