Trump's congressional address: What you need to know

Trump will address the 115th Congress Tuesday night.

ByABC News
February 27, 2017, 10:51 AM

— -- President Trump will give his first major congressional address at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, laying out his agenda for the nation. In addition to lawmakers, the audience is expected to include most of his cabinet, the Supreme Court justice and top military brass.

His appearance follows an invitation last month from House Speaker Paul Ryan, who called the address "an opportunity for the people and their representatives to hear directly from our new president about his vision and our shared agenda."

The Talking Points

The commander-in-chief's address comes on the heels of a rocky first 39 days: from the troubled roll-out of the travel ban to the ousting of national security adviser Michael Flynn following reports that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contact with Russians officials.

On Tuesday, Trump is expected to recast his fledgling presidency as a victory for the American people, outlining ways he and lawmakers can work together.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer says the address will be "the renewal of the American spirit." Possible topics that will be discussed: Trump's proposed wall along the southern U.S. border; repealing and replacing Obamacare; tax and regulatory reform; and job creation.

The Democratic Response

Trump won't get the last word Tuesday night.

Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear will give the Democratic response to Trump's address, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced last Friday.

The Democratic governor of a largely conservative state, Beshear, was a strong supporter of Obamacare and an expansion of Medicaid in 2014. Within two years, his state's uninsured rate fell nearly 13 percentage points, according to Gallup.

"Under Governor Beshear’s leadership, Kentucky became one of the great success stories of the Affordable Care Act," Pelosi said in a statement. "Governor Beshear is an experienced job-creator and a uniquely credible voice on the devastating consequences of Republicans’ plans to Make America Sick Again."

The Democrats also announced that immigration activist Astrid Silva, a DREAMer who came to the United States at age 4, will deliver the Spanish-language response.

She'll be the first non-lawmaker to deliver the official Spanish response for either party.

“While President Trump unleashes a cruel deportation dragnet on hard-working immigrant families, Astrid Silva personifies the values that have always made America strong,” Pelosi said.

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