WASHINGTON D.C. - The Nation's capitol has been busy this week with President Donald J. Trump delivering the State of the Union Address on Tuesday, the Senate vote on Wednesday and the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday.
State of the Union
On Tuesday, Feb. 4, President Trump delivered his third State of the Union Address. The president honored eleven guests present at the speech.
• Opportunity Zones Initiative Beneficiary Tony Rankins of Cincinnati, Ohio
“After struggling with drug addiction, Tony lost his job, his house, and his family. He was homeless. But then Tony found a construction company that invests in opportunity zones,” Trump said. “He is now a top tradesman, drug-free, reunited with his family, and he is here tonight. Tony, keep up the great work.”
"For the chance to represent guys that are homeless, I'm more than happy to be there,” Rankins said.
• Venezuelan Opposition Leader Juan Guilardo
“Here this evening is a very brave man who carries with him the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of all Venezuelans,” Trump said. “Joining us in the gallery is the true and legitimate President of Venezuela, Juan Guaido.”
Trump assured his constituents that the United States will be supporting the hopes of Cubans, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans to "restore democracy".
• Tuskegee Airman Col. Charles McGee and his great-grandson, Iain Lanphier
“After more than 130 combat missions in World War II, he came back home to a country still struggling for civil rights and went on to serve America in Korea and Vietnam,” Trump said of McGee. “On December 7th, Charles celebrated his 100th birthday.”
Mere weeks ago, Trump signed a bill that made McGee a general.
13 year-old Lanphier aspires to join the U.S. Air Force, eventually joining the newly formed U.S. Space Force.
“As Iain says, ‘Most people look up at space; I want to look down on the world,’” Trump said.
• Winner of the School Choice Scholarship, Janiyah Davis of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
“Janiyah's mom, Stephanie, is a single parent. She would do anything to give her daughter a better future,” Trump said. “But last year, that future was put further out of reach when Pennsylvania's governor vetoed legislation to expand school choice to 50,000 children."
Trump then told Davis that an opportunity scholarship had become available and would be awarded to her.
"You will soon be heading to the school of your choice," said Trump.
Trump then called on Congress to pass the Education Freedom Scholarship and Opportunity Act. This act would give one million children the freedom to attend the school of their choice, according to the White House.
• Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, Rush Limbaugh
Limbaugh recently announced the diagnosis of advanced stage lung cancer and was noticeably shocked at the announcement that he was to be presented with the prestigious award.
"Rush, in recognition of all that you have done for our nation, the millions of people a day that you speak to and that you inspire, and all of the incredible work that you have done for charity, I am proud to announce tonight that you will be receiving our country's highest civilian honor: the Presidential Medal of Freedom,” Trump declared. "[Thank you for] decades of tireless devotion to our country.”
• Girl born prematurely and mother, Ellie Schneider and her mother, Robin
Schneider was born at 21-weeks and six days, weighing less than a pound at the time of her birth.
“Ellie Schneider was a born fighter,” Trump said. “Through the skill of her doctors — and the prayers of her parents — little Ellie kept on winning the battle of life. Today, Ellie is a strong, healthy 2-year-old girl sitting with her amazing mother, Robin, in the gallery. Ellie and Robin, we are so glad to have you with us tonight.”
Trump then asked Congress to provide an additional $50 million to fund neonatal research and called upon Congress to pass legislation to ban late-term abortion.
“Whether we are Republican, Democrat or independent, surely we must all agree that every human life is a sacred gift from God,” Trump said. "[As Americans we should be able to] ensure that every baby has the best chance to thrive and grow, just like Ellie.”
• Brother of victim of illegal immigrant crime, Jody Jones of California
Trump then criticized sanctuary states.
“In December 2018, California police detained an illegal alien with five prior arrests, including convictions for robbery and assault. But as required by California's sanctuary law, local authorities released him,” Trump said. “Days later, the criminal alien went on a gruesome spree of deadly violence. He viciously shot one man going about his daily work. He approached a woman sitting in her car and shot her in the arm and in the chest. He walked into a convenience store and wildly fired his weapon. He hijacked a truck and smashed into vehicles, critically injuring innocent victims. One of the victims is a terrible, terrible situation. Died, 51-year-old American named Rocky Jones.”
Trump then recognized Jody, Jones brother.
“Jody, our hearts weep for your loss, and we will not rest until you have justice,” Trump said. “Senator Thom Tillis [of North Carolina] has introduced legislation to allow Americans like Jody to sue sanctuary cities and states when a loved one is hurt or killed as a result of these deadly practices.”
Trump asked Congress to pass the Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act.
• Border Patrol Officer Raul Ortiz
“Over the last 24 months, Agent Ortiz and his team have seized more than 200,000 pounds of poisonous narcotics, arrested more than 3,000 human smugglers and rescued more than 2,000 migrants,” Trump said. “Days ago, Agent Ortiz was promoted to Deputy Chief of Border Patrol, and he joins us tonight.”
According to Trump, the result of agreements with Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, border crossing is down 75 percent.
• Parents of Christian Aid worker killed by Islamic State, Carl and Marsha Mueller
The Muellers are the parents of Kayla Mueller, 26, a Christian aid worker who was raped and killed in Syria by ISIS in 2015. Kayla was reportedly held by Baghdadi.
“We are joined this evening by Carl and Marsha Mueller. After graduating from college, their beautiful daughter, Kayla, became a humanitarian aid worker,” Trump explained. “She once wrote, ‘Some people find God in church. Some people find God in nature. Some people find God in love. I find God in suffering. I've known for some time what my life's work is, using my hands as tools to relieve suffering.’"
Trump then revealed that the task force that was responsible for the death of Baghdadi was named 8-14 for Kayla's birthday, August 14.
“Carl and Marsha, America's warriors never forgot Kayla, and neither will we,” Trump said.
• Family of fallen soldier, Kelli and Gage Hake of Enid, Oklahoma
Staff Sgt. Christopher Hake was killed by a roadside bomb in 2008. The bomb was placed at the order of Iranian terrorist Qasem Soleimani, who was also responsible for the attacks in the Middle East against the U.S. and allies. Soleimani was killed earlier this year.
“Sergeant Hake now rests in eternal glory in Arlington. And his wife, Kelli, is in the gallery tonight, joined by their son, who is now 13 years old and doing very, very well,” Trump said. “To Kelli and Gage, Chris will live in our hearts forever. He is looking down on you now. Thank you.”
• Family of a deployed service member, The Williams family of Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Trump began the recognition of his final guest by bragging on Amy Williams' service and volunteer work helping other military families. Sgt. First Class Townsend Williams had been deployed in Afghanistan during his fourth tour.
“Amy's kids haven't seen their father's face in many months,” Trump said. “Amy, your family's sacrifice makes it possible for all of our families to live in safety and in peace. And we want to thank you.”
The Williams were then informed that there was a "special surprise" for them.
“I am thrilled to inform you that your husband is back from deployment,” Trump said. “He is here with us tonight. And we couldn't keep him waiting any longer.”
Sgt. Williams made his way down the stairs towards his family, his wife burst into tears. Congress then chanted 'USA! USA! USA!'
“Welcome home Sgt. Williams,” Trump said. “Thank you, very much.”
Oklahoma's United States Representative of District 2 is Markwayne Mullin.
“President Trump gave us a clear vision on how he will continue to make America great,” said Mullin. “It’s obvious that Republican policies are working and despite the constant attacks from the left-wing Democrats, he has remained focused on putting the American people first and moving us forward. I look forward to continuing to work with Congress to accomplish the goals President Trump laid out tonight and hope that my colleagues across the aisle stand ready to do the same.”
Senate Vote on Articles of Impeachment
On Wednesday, February 5, President Trump was acquitted by the United States Senate on two articles of impeachment presented by the House of Representatives.
Article 1 - Abuse of Power: 52-48 Not Guilty
Article 1 - Obstruction of Justice: 53-47 Not Guilty
The Senate would have had to have had 67 Guilty votes to convict the president.
National Prayer Breakfast
On Thursday, February 6, Trump hosted Congress' National Prayer Breakfast. The theme of the breakfast was 'religious persecution'.
The co-sponsors of the breakfast are Reps. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.) and Thomas Suozzi (D-N.Y.), who opened the event by addressing the political division in the country and in Congress.
“If we’re to heal our division, we need to spend time together; we need to stop judging one another,” Suozzi said, before comparing their shared bonds with that of a married couple. “What is this thing, marriage? It’s like a long journey with lots of ups and downs. Because in life you can’t have a rose without thorns. You can’t have the good things in life without the suffering.”
Multiple speakers took the podium, all speaking about the Christian call to love your enemies and spreading faith by modeling unity. Trump then stepped up to the podium.
"As everybody knows, my family, our great country and your president have been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people," Trump said at the outset of his speech. "They have done everything possible to destroy us, and by so doing, very badly hurt our nation. They know what they are doing is wrong, but they put themselves far ahead of our great country."
Trump then praised the "courageous Republican politicians and leaders" who he said "had the wisdom, fortitude and strength to do what everyone knows was right" amid the impeachment fight.
Concerning a prayer from Nancy Pelosi, who says she prays for the president, and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who publicly announced that he would vote to convict the president during the impeachment votes, Trump had this to say:
“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,” Trump said. “Nor do I like people who say, ‘I pray for you,’ when they know that that’s not so. So many people have been hurt, and we can’t let that go on.”
Trump also addressed the public on Thursday at 12 p.m. EST.