Here’s the top four stories to start your day:
1: President Trump Delivers Second State of the Union
President Trump delivered his second State of the Union address last night, using the event to call on Democrats to reject partisanship and work with Republicans to get a series of policies through Congress.
Trump started and ended the speech with unifying tones, first focusing on the history of American progress and ending with an appeal for members of Congress to “choose greatness.”
Throughout the speech, Trump touted his achievements and laid out his agenda which includes immigration reform, infrastructure projects, lowering prescription drug prices, and banning late term abortions.
The president also announced he will have another summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam to continue work on a denuclearization deal.
2: Abrams Delivers Dem Response to State of the Union
Former Georgia House Minority Leader (D) Stacey Abrams delivered the response to the State of the Union on behalf of the Democrats last night.
Abrams used the address to slam Trump and Republicans for policies they enacted during Trump’s first two years in office:
“Families’ hopes are being crushed by Republican leadership that ignores real life or just doesn’t understand it. Under the current administration, far too many Americans are falling behind, living paycheck to paycheck.”
Abram also used her speech to address a key issue for her, voter suppression:
“This is the next battle for our democracy, one where all eligible citizens can have their say about the vision we want for our country. We must reject the cynicism that says allowing every eligible vote to be cast and counted is a power grab.”
Abrams ran for governor in Georgia in last year’s election but lost to then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp. Democrats have been urging Abrams to run against Georgia Sen. David Purdue (R) in the 2020 election.
3: AOC Responds to Criticism of her Demeanor During State of the Union
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez faced criticism from pundits last night after she did not appear “spirited and warm” according to Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan.
Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her response asking “Why should I be “spirited and warm” for this embarrassment of a [State of the Union]?”
She said that the night was “unsettling for the our country” and that President Trump did not offer “any plan, any vision at all, for our future.”
4: NYS Legislature Bans Off Shore Drilling
The New York State legislature advanced a bill that would ban drilling in the Atlantic Ocean off the state’s coast.
Last year, President Trump gave a green light for oil and gas exploration in the Atlantic Ocean. Several states, including New York, quickly sued to stop the exploration which they say can damage ecosystems.
Democrats praised the bill saying that Americans should be focusing on finding new energy sources rather than continuing to use fossil fuels. However, Republicans in the Capitol said the bill was hypocritical as many New Yorkers use natural gas to heat their homes.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signaled support for the bill. Last year, Cuomo asked the federal government to exclude New York from the off shore drilling measures.