American President Donald Trump delivered his yearly State of the Union address Tuesday. He gave credit to himself and his administration for what he called the “Great American Comeback.”
Republicans welcomed Trump to the House of Representatives with the cheers of “four more years.” Ahead of his speech, the president appeared to reject the offer of a handshake from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat.
Trump said Tuesday, “In just three short years, we have shattered the mentality of American decline and we have rejected the downsizing of America’s destiny...We are moving forward at a pace that was unimaginable just a short time ago, and we are never going back!”
The nationally televised speech was delivered in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. Lawmakers in the House voted to impeach Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of justice late last year. The speech took place one day before the Republican-led Senate will likely vote to acquit him of the charges.
Trump noted the nation's strong economy, low unemployment rates and rising stock markets in his three years as president. He said that he has delivered tax cuts and new trade agreements. He promised to continue to protect gun rights and said he aimed to name more conservative judges to the Supreme Court. And, he said he would not let “socialism destroy American health care.”
During the hour-long speech, Trump introduced 13-year old Iain Lanphier. The young boy hopes to join the U.S. Space Force, a newly established branch of the military created under Trump.
Sitting near Lanphier on Tuesday was his great-grandfather Charles McGee. He is one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American pilots who fought in World War II. McGee received his general star from Trump just hours earlier.
Trump also had a surprise for Janiyah Davis, a fourth-grader from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She attended the State of the Union address with her mother. Trump announced a special scholarship to help her go to the school she wishes to attend. The move was meant to bring attention to the president’s support for an education movement known as school choice.
Later in his speech, Trump asked his wife, first lady Melania Trump, to present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh. The medal is the country’s highest civilian honor.
Trump also reunited a soldier with his family. Townsend Williams had been on his fourth deployment in the Middle East. His wife, Amy, and their two children were in attendance for the State of the Union but did not know Williams was there, too. Trump said, “Welcome home, Sergeant Williams” to the cheers of USA! USA! in the chamber.
On foreign policy, Trump said, “We are supporting the hopes of Cubans, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans to restore democracy.” He then introduced opposition leader Juan Guaido, who received loud applause from lawmakers in both political parties. Trump called Guaido “the true and legitimate president of Venezuela.”
The president ended his speech saying, “The sun is still rising. God's grace is still shining. And my fellow Americans, the best is yet to come.”
As Trump ended his address, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was seen tearing up a copy of the president’s speech. When asked by reporters why she had torn up Trump’s speech, Pelosi said, “It was the courteous thing to do, considering the alternative.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered the Democratic answer to the State of the Union. She noted the differences between the president’s words and actions taken by Democratic leaders.
“When the President says the economy is strong, my question is, strong for whom?” Whitmer said. “Strong for the wealthy, who are reaping rewards from tax cuts they don’t need. The American economy needs to be a different kind of strong.”
Hai Do wrote this story for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.
Words in This Story
shatter - v. to break suddenly
destiny - n. what happens in the future
impeach - v. to charge with a crime while in office
obstruction of justice - phrase, is the crime of trying to stop official from learning the truth
acquit - v. to decide that someone is not guilty
scholarship - n. an amount of money given to a student to help pay for education
host - n. a person who talks to guests on radio or television show
applause - n. a show of approval in which people clap their hands together
legitimate - adj. permitted according to rules or laws
courteous - adj. very polite
alternative - n. a choice or option