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Republicans in Washington are keeping their promises and delivering results — that’s the message many in the party hope President Trump will deliver in his first speech to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night.

“I’m looking forward to hearing the president’s address,” said Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala. “It comes at a good time because I think the nation needs to see the commander-in-chief address Congress and understand that their government is working together.”

With control of Congress and the White House for the first time in over a decade, Republicans have an opportunity implement an agenda that stalled during former President Obama’s two terms in office.

In spite of the president’s unorthodox communications style and an extremely hostile relationship with the press even by GOP standards, Republicans have been happy that so many of his early appointments and executive orders have been conventionally conservative.

At the same time, Republicans are struggling to unite around the details of repealing and replacing Obamacare. There has been pushback over border adjustment, a key component of the House Republican tax reform plan. Not all GOP lawmakers support the administration’s trade policies. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., became the first to call for a special prosecutor to handle the Russia probe.

Democrats have gone so far to mention impeachment a little over a month after the president took office. The talk isn’t limited to left-wing backbenchers either. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Monday “there are plenty of grounds right now for the current president” to be impeached.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., predicted Trump’s speech will consist of “bluster and blame” plus the usual “populist platitudes.”

Thus the stakes are high for the president’s speech. That’s why Republicans are looking for Trump to make the case for why the country is better off with their party in charge.

“What I’m looking to hear from President Trump [Tuesday] night is a unified vision for this country — a vision that reaches past politics, race, and socioeconomic boundaries and moves all of us toward a brighter future,” said Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Mich. “We’re seeing a renewed energy and involvement in the political process right now that extends beyond partisan politics.”

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“I hope the president will speak to that and to the opportunity we have right now to improve the way we educate our children, approach health and wellness, and support our veterans and service members in this country,” Bergman added. “I’m also looking forward to hearing the President’s plan for national security. We have something great here — something that a lot of people want — and we have to protect that.”

“There are three things in particular I’ll be looking for him to address: defeating the global terrorist threat, securing our borders, and improving the economy,” said Roby. She sits on the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over border security legislation, and also the Defense Appropriations subcommittee.

They should be in luck. According to talking points released by the White House ahead of the speech, Trump is planning an “optimistic” speech emphasizing economic solutions for ordinary Americans, “the forgotten men and women.”

The bullet points describe a mixture of expected Republican positions and some things more unique to Trump. The president plans to call for tax and regulatory reform, “saving American families from the disaster of Obamacare,” rebuilding the military, improving veterans’ care and education, making communities safer and upgrading conditions for working parents.

While Trump is turning his attention to the work he will have to do with Republicans in Congress, he also going to point to the flurry of executive actions as evidence he is already hard at work fulfilling campaign pledges.

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“People wanted change,” said Ryan Price, a Republican strategist. “He’s doing what he campaigned on.”

Trump has frequently used Twitter to get his message to the American people and has openly clashed with news outlets covering him. While he began delivering more formal addresses as he got close to winning the Republican presidential nomination last year, he still favors the more discursive speaking style he displayed in his trademark rallies.

Though not technically a State of the Union address, it will be the most formal setting in which Trump has given an important speech since his inauguration. How both he and congressional Democrats looking for opportunities to protest will handle the decorum remains to be seen.


But the bigger test for many Republican lawmakers will be whether Trump can reassure their constituents, who are increasingly flooding townhall meetings in their home states, that the party is ready to govern.



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