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Preview: President Trump Will Address a Joint Session of Congress Tonight for the First Time

President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump will speak to a joint session of Congress shortly after 8 p.m. EST. (Reuters photo)

For the first time since he took office, President Donald Trump will address a joint session of Congress for what will be the equivalent of a State of the Union speech.

Prior to the speech in the House of Representatives chamber, the White House has provided a number of clues about what the speech will entail. The first is the list of guests the president and first lady have invited to sit in the gallery to observe the speech.

They are (descriptions provided by the White House Communications Office):

  • Megan Crowley: At 15 months old, Megan was diagnosed with Pompe Disease and not expected to live more than a few short years. To look for a cure, her father founded Novazyme Pharmaceuticals, a five-person startup that he built into a 100-person company. Megan, age 20, is now a sophomore at Notre Dame.
  • Jessica Davis and Susan Oliver: Jessica and Susan are the widows of Detective Michael Davis and Deputy Sheriff Danny Oliver, who were California police officers killed in the line of duty in 2014 by an illegal immigrant. Their names are memorialized in the Davis-Oliver bill, which is aimed to increase cooperation between Federal and local officials to enforce our Nation's immigration laws.
  • Denisha Merriweather: After struggling with coursework as a child and switching schools often, Denisha moved in with her godmother and enrolled in the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. She began going to a private school, Esprit de Corps Center for Learning, and would go on to be the first member of her family to graduate from high school and college.
  • Maureen McCarthy Scalia: Maureen is the widow of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and the mother of their nine children. This month, President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to succeed Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court.
  • Jamiel Shaw, Sr.: Mr. Shaw's son, Jamiel Jr., was a high school football star before he was tragically shot by an illegal immigrant, who was also a gang member, in 2008.

Clearly, the president's speech will line out his budget priorities, including specifics about cuts and increases in spending. But, it will also include mentions of small businesses and job creation, violence against law enforcement, school choice, the Supreme Court nomination and immigration.

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The president's speech will begin shortly after 8 p.m. EST.

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