Tina Smith delivered the weekly Democratic address at the Capitol on Friday, saying she was ready to work with President Donald Trump on lowering prescription drug costs and investing in infrastructure.
But those overtures in Tuesday's speech fell flat with his opponents, who found little reason to warm to his vision for 2018. But early reports of the proposal have been rejected by the right and the left. The most substantive stretch of his remarks, an explanation of his immigration policies, was his most divisive. Kennedy engaged Trump in a rhetorical tug-of-war about the Dreamers: where Trump said that "Americans are dreamers, too"-implying that the aspirations of native-born Americans are more important than those of immigrants-Kennedy switched to Spanish to offer assurance to the Dreamers: "Ustedes son parte de nuestra historia".
After Democrats shut down the government and then folded without getting anything, Trump could have rubbed their faces in it.
In other words, Trump won over a lot of Americans with his State of the Union address - at least for the night.
But, members had already endured a deadly train crash and now as they stepped one-by-one into a conference room of reporters, word was out that the controversial Nunes memo - the one intelligence and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials had expressed "grave concerns" about - could come any moment. "I really am not happy with the way it's going from the standpoint of the Democrats".
"Any deal that includes a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants must first include increased border security measures", Abraham said.
"We would like to see a vote on that soon", he said, adding that House Speaker Paul Ryan has committed to a floor vote. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a statement. "There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream", he said.
His remarks Tuesday on immigration appeared to widen the divide.
The White House also wants chain migration contained to just the nuclear families of green card holders and wants to end the visa lottery program. Lottery winners aren't guaranteed a visa and must pass a screening process.
However, the reduction in immigration wouldn't begin until approximately four million undocumented people now on family-based waiting lists - known as backlogs - are processed.
Democrats grumbled and booed.
The framework for immigration legislation laid out by the White House last week would limit family-based reunification - an immigration process by which US citizens and legal permanent residents can sponsor their family members - to only spouses and minor children.
"The president has attacked our families", Virginia State Delegate Elizabeth Guzman said in Spanish in a Democratic Party response to his speech.
Representative Joe Kennedy, chosen by the party to answer Trump's speech, began with a paean to new foreign arrivals and their contributions to the country. Or, as Trump, puts it, if you don't have a border, you don't have a country. Despite a year of achievements - including historic tax and regulatory reform, confirmation of conservative judges, elimination of the Islamic State's physical caliphate, repeal of the unpopular ObamaCare individual mandate, a booming stock market, a growing economy and unemployment near 45-year lows - Trump's approval rating on the eve of his address was just 38 percent.
There were no new details about a plan to rebuild USA infrastructure, the sort of broad policy Democrats might latch onto. Perhaps most powerful was Trump's focus on North Korea and the image of Mr. Ji Seong-ho, a North Korean defector and convert to Christianity, standing in the House chamber and raising his crutches in defiance of the despotic regime that had brutalized him and his family. In the Senate, Republicans hold a narrow majority with 51 members, although Republicans only have to defend eight seats in November, compared to 26 for Democrats (two of which are held by independents who caucus with the Democrats).Of those 26 seats, 10 are in states that President Donald Trump won in 2016. The only odd thing about it was the fact that he stayed on script for 80 minutes. He had a simple message for President Trump: Walls don't work. Count on Pelosi's comments about making America white again showing in mail boxes in every contested congressional race this fall. The tax bill removed the law's mandate that most Americans carry insurance.
As the March 5 deadline for protecting roughly 700,000 DACA recipients from deportation draws near, Thune and other Republicans are beginning to voice doubts about the viability of Trump's proposal and offer more palatable alternatives.