President Trump’s theme for this year’s State of the Union was unity and bipartisanship. This message is topical after the partial government shutdown that occurred from December 22, 2018 to January 25, 2019 over disputes between Republicans and Democrats concerning funding for the border wall.
Due to the shutdown, the address was pushed back from January 23 to February 5 after Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, thought it inappropriate to have the address during the shutdown.
The Democratic rebuttal to Trump’s speech was given by Stacy Abrams, the first black woman ever to give the rebuttal, who also emphasized joint commitment to progress. She spoke out against the shutdown, voter suppression, and the border wall, but also stated that she does not want Trump to fail as President, advocating for a stronger America instead.
Women's advancements were emphasized in multiple ways both in the speech and in Congress: women in Congress wore white in honor of 20th century suffragettes and the record number of women in Congress this year, while Trump announced that more women are in the American workforce than ever before.
Trump covered what his priorities moving forward are and encouraged bipartisanship to accomplish both parties’ goals. He advocated for the border wall, health care, infrastructure, and continuing his foreign policy plan with North Korea. He announced a second meeting with Kim Jong Un on February 27 and 28, which will continue to be a discussion in the news.