President Trump lamented the congressional obstruction and investigations plaguing his administration during his Tuesday night State of the Union address and called on lawmakers gathered in the House chamber to work across the aisle to enact his agenda.
“If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way,” Trump said to applause from the Republican side of the aisle.
Leveraging their newly won House majority, Democrats are preparing to wield congressional subpoena power in a range of investigations examining Trump’s campaign, transition team, and personal businesses. In the coming week alone, House Democrats will question acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker regarding his oversight of the ongoing special counsel investigation, interview Trump’s longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen, and examine the administration’s separation of families detained after illegally crossing the southern border.
In an appeal to bipartisan consensus, the president went on to emphasize the executive and legislative criminal-justice-reform measures pursued by his administration. He recounted the story of Alice Johnson, an African-American woman sentenced to life in prison for a first-time drug offense, who received a pardon last year, and touted the sweeping criminal-justice-reform bill he signed into law in December.
“I commuted Alice’s sentence . . . and when I saw Alice’s beautiful family greet her at the prison gate hugging and kissing and crying and laughing, I knew I did something right. . . . Alice, thank you for reminding us we have the power to shape our own destiny,” Trump said.
Trump then turned to the more contentious issue of immigration, repeating his urgent calls for increased funding for border security and citing the stories of Americans killed by illegal immigrants as evidence of the consequences of lax immigration policy.
“Now Republicans and Democrats must join forces again to confront an urgent national crisis. Congress has ten days left to pass a bill that will fund our government, protects our homelands and secure our very dangerous southern border,” he said.