In Democratic response, Abrams sharply rebukes Trump

Border Wall or Military Construction? Tough Choices Surround State of the Union

Another Democratic star, Stacey Abrams, delivered the party's response to President Trump.

In the Democratic response to President Trump's State of the Union, Stacey Abrams spoke out in favor of voting rights and against the government shutdown. Trump resisted any shots at Abrams leading up to their prime-time juxtaposition.

One nearly expected Trump to get in a dig at the never-ending Mueller investigation, which recently passed the 18-month time limit for a Grand Jury and was given an extension of indeterminate (and likely indefinite) length. As he did in an Oval Office address last month during a partial government shutdown, Trump employed ominous language as he fanned public fears over an "onslaught" of migrants, including gang members, drug cartels and human traffickers.

Once the shutdown ended, without the funding Trump had wanted for his wall, the two rescheduled his speech. But the president said his outreach to Pyongyang had made the US safer. Trump and congressional Democrats reached a deal last month to reopen the government for three weeks until February 15, while negotiations continue over border security and a spending package that includes the billions he has requested to construct the wall he promised Mexico would pay for while on the 2016 campaign trail.

"Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country", he concluded, to widespread applause.

"To build on our incredible economic success, one priority is paramount: Reversing decades of calamitous trade policies", he will say.

The White House is also considering imposing tariffs of up to 25 percent on imports of automobiles and auto parts.

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But immigration experts have said new wall projects would be costly and would have little effect in stopping the flow of illegal narcotics, most of which flow through legal ports of entry. "This is wrong, unfair and together we can stop it".

Foreign policy, including Trump's talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, will be a heavy focus of the speech.

The summit could help break a deadlock in U.S.

Trump is also expected to address USA peace talks with the Taliban.

Aides have reportedly prepared plans and draft language for such an emergency, but Republican leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have warned the president that such a measure could backfire by splitting the GOP between border hawks who support it and others who fear it would set a bad precedent as an executive branch power grab.

The Republican-led Senate this week broke with Trump on Syria and Afghanistan, passing a largely symbolic resolution that opposed a "precipitous withdrawal", insisting militants in both countries still pose a threat to the U.S.

"As a candidate for President, I pledged a new approach", he plans to say. Trump said, "Great nations do not fight endless wars".

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