President Trump gives 2019 State of the Union address
In the video above, seniors Dominic Bottini, Johnny Liu, Nicholas Jeske, Lycia Zavala, James Nguyen, Delaney Holloway, Jade Mention and sophomore Jalen Harris, respectively, discuss their opinions on the topics of Trump’s State of the Union address.
To a joint session of the 535 Congress members and millions of viewers at home, President Donald Trump held an 82 minute State of the Union address. Rather than acknowledging the new power dynamic in Washington as the previous three presidents have done, Trump began the address by presenting his agenda.
Rep. Neal Dunn of Panama City says that he desires consolidation between both parties because North Florida needs to see results. With a similar goal in mind, Trump stated that one of his aims is to unify the country. “We must reject the politics of revenge, resistance, and retribution — and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise, and the common good,” he said. “Together, we can break decades of political stalemate.”
Some bipartisan policies Trump promoted include prison reform and reduced prices of healthcare.
After recognizing important anniversaries such as D-Day and when Americans landed on the moon, Trump also recognized his feats in office including generating 5.3 million new jobs. According to Senator Rick Scott who served as governor of Florida from 2011 to 2019, the next step is to ensure that the economy continues to grow in Florida. “I look forward to hearing the President’s plan to continue to build on Florida’s economic success and create even more opportunities for families to succeed,” Scott said. “While I was governor, Florida businesses created almost 1.7 million jobs.”
Because Florida is ground zero, environmental policies are detrimental to its communities. Consequently, Rep. Frank Rooney of R-Naples sent a letter to President Trump, co-signed by every Member of the Florida Congressional delegation, highlighting the importance of Everglades restoration and water quality infrastructure projects and the necessity of support from administration. Although Trump did not address either issue, he asserted that the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world and is a net exporter of energy.
A large chunk of the address was also comprised of Trump’s plan to build the wall. “Simply put, walls work and walls save lives,” Trump said. “So let’s work together, compromise, and reach a deal that will truly make America safe.”
While some representatives of Florida support securing the border, others like Rep. Donna Shalala of D-Coral Gables hoped that Trump would not demand money for the wall. Despite opposition, Trump seems willing to initiate another partial shutdown or declare a national emergency to ensure that the wall is built.
Trump concluded the address by saying “We must keep America first in our hearts. We must keep freedom alive in our souls.”