Division and Unity at State of the Union

For the most part, roaring applauses and standing ovations from Republican lawmakers rang throughout the chamber of the House of Representatives during President Donald Trump’s third State of the Union address Tuesday night.

But Democrats, on the other hand, didn’t take a few of Trump’s points too well, like his vow to sign a bipartisan bill to lower drug prices.

“And working together, Congress can reduce drug prices substantially from current levels,” said the president. “I am calling for bipartisan legislation that achieves the goal of dramatically lowering prescription drug prices. Get a bill on my desk, and I will sign it into law immediately.”

So far, only one partisan House bill, H.R.3 bill, has made it to the Senate after being passed by the Democrat-controlled House. At one point, during Trump’s speech, Democratic lawmakers erupted into chants of “H-R-3.”

Democrats
Female members of Congress dress in white for the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington on Feb. 4, 2020. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

But there were glimmers of unity. Both Republicans and Democrats in the chamber applauded when Trump spoke about heading an international coalition against Venezuelan socialist Nicolas Maduro’s regime.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Trump appeared to not meet eye to eye after he entered the chamber where he was impeached. At the end of the speech, just as Trump finished speaking, Pelosi tore up his speech, which she called a “manifesto of mistruths” in a press release.

Pelosi rips Trump's speech
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) rips up the speech of President Donald Trump after his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Feb. 4, 2020. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

“Look, I think she had the same reaction many of us had,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) in an interview with CNN. “I think many of us were tempted to walk out. We didn’t because we still have respect for the occasion.”

In sharp contrast, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wis.) said Pelosi dishonored the House.

“She showed once again that she is an embarrassment, that she is unfit for office. And the American people are going have the opportunity to make that decision, to choose between two visions for the future of this country in November,” she said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Comments