Trump will give State of Union to sea of opponents

When Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE stands on the elevated dais and looks out onto the House floor Tuesday night, the 45th president will see the faces of a number of Democrats eager to unseat him in 2020.

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerOvernight Defense: Two US service members killed in Afghanistan | Trump calls on other nations to take up fight against ISIS | Pentagon scraps billion-dollar missile defense program ABC unveils moderators for third Democratic debate Sanders targets gig economy as part of new labor plan MORE (D-N.J.), who just launched his presidential bid, will be there at Trump’s State of the Union address, as will Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisPoll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona Rising Warren faces uphill climb with black voters Inslee drops out of 2020 presidential race MORE (D-Calif.). Last year, both aggressively grilled Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughMcConnell rejects Democrats' 'radical movement' to abolish filibuster Collins downplays 2020 threat: 'Confident' reelection would go well if she runs The exhaustion of Democrats' anti-Trump delusions MORE, who likely will be sitting in the front row with his fellow justices.

Trump will also see Democratic Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandOvernight Defense: Two US service members killed in Afghanistan | Trump calls on other nations to take up fight against ISIS | Pentagon scraps billion-dollar missile defense program Sanders targets gig economy as part of new labor plan Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill MORE from his home state of New York, and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenKrystal Ball: Elites have chosen Warren as The One; Lauren Claffey: Is AOC wrong about the Electoral College? Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona McConnell rejects Democrats' 'radical movement' to abolish filibuster MORE (D-Mass.), whom Trump frequently mocks as “Pocahontas” for her claims of Native American heritage.

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Reps. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardABC unveils moderators for third Democratic debate Lawmakers urge DNC to name Asian American debate moderator The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden expands lead in new national poll MORE (D-Hawaii)  is running, too, while Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump touts new immigration policy, backtracks on tax cuts Inslee drops out of 2020 presidential race Hickenlooper ends presidential bid MORE (D-Calif.) and Sens. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 candidates have the chance to embrace smarter education policies Bernie Sanders Adviser talks criminal justice reform proposal, 'Medicare for All' plan Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona MORE (I-Vt.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharOvernight Defense: Two US service members killed in Afghanistan | Trump calls on other nations to take up fight against ISIS | Pentagon scraps billion-dollar missile defense program ABC unveils moderators for third Democratic debate Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill MORE (D-Minn.) and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBank watchdogs approve rule to loosen ban on risky Wall Street trades Dayton mayor assigned extra security following verbal spat with Trump The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape MORE (D-Ohio) are all weighing bids.

And during the speech, Trump might think that he’s seeing double: Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Júlian Castro won’t be on hand, but his twin brother, Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroThe exhaustion of Democrats' anti-Trump delusions Juan Williams: Democrats finally hit Trump where it hurts Texas Democrats tap Joaquin Castro to deliver key address MORE (D-Texas), probably will.

“It should be great theater as the 2020 hopefuls audition for their base,” freshman Sen. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerCastro, Steyer join pledge opposing the Keystone XL pipeline EPA proposes rolling back states' authority over pipeline projects GOP senator held up Trump aide's confirmation to get info on border wall contracts MORE (R-N.D.), a Trump ally and former House member, told The Hill. “It would be fun to have a caption contest as the cameras pan the heckling section.”

Tuesday’s address in the House chamber will be Trump’s second official State of the Union and third major speech to a joint session of Congress. But it will mark his first State of the Union in a new era of divided government, after Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCutting tariffs is better than cutting payroll taxes to boost the economy Pelosi speaks with Israeli president after Trump controversy In debate over internet speech law, pay attention to whose voices are ignored MORE (D-Calif.) and the Democrats took back control of the House in a midterms election seen as a referendum on the unpopular and unpredictable president.

A senior administration official nonetheless said Trump is planning to strike a “unifying tone” in his address.

Some issues could get bipartisan applause lines, like lowering prescription drug prices, infrastructure and pressuring China on its trade policies.

“Together we can break decades of political stalemate, we can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make,” Trump will say, according the official.

If all the 2020 challengers aren’t enough, Pelosi will be sitting just above Trump’s left shoulder, literally breathing down his neck as her committee chairs (sitting in the audience) prepare to launch a slew of investigations into his administration — and several individual Cabinet members who will accompany Trump down the center aisle.

It’ll mark a sea change from Trump’s last two addresses to Congress, where Vice President Pence and then-Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanSoaring deficits could put Trump in a corner if there's a recession Paul Ryan moving family to Washington Embattled Juul seeks allies in Washington MORE (R-Wis.) smiled and applauded behind him throughout.

The two political heavyweights — Trump and Pelosi — have clashed for the past two months over the president’s demand that the Congress approve $5.7 billion for his wall on the southern border. The knock-down, drag-out fight shut down the government for a record 35 days — furloughing 800,000 federal workers, sparking delays at airports and delaying Republicans’ and Democrats’ annual policy retreats.

The State of the Union speech itself became a hostage in the Trump-Pelosi firefight. Pelosi invited and then disinvited Trump to deliver his annual address amid the shutdown. Trump threatened to come to Capitol Hill anyway on Jan. 29, launching an unprecedented standoff between the executive and legislative branches.

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When Trump reopened the government with no new wall funding, caving to Pelosi’s position, the Speaker extended an olive branch, and a second invitation, to Trump for Tuesday.

But the truce seemed to be over as soon as it began, with funding for a handful of federal agencies set to run out again after Feb. 15. Trump has continued to insist Congress deliver him money for his wall; Pelosi has continued to rebuff him.

The real, functional deadline for lawmakers will be on Friday, just three days after Trump appears in the House chamber. Lawmakers on the bipartisan, bicameral conference committee are aiming to complete a deal by the end of this week to give both chambers enough time the following week to send a bill to Trump by the Feb. 15 deadline.

Trump, however, has dismissed the bipartisan committee of negotiators as a “waste of time.”

The president told reporters at the White House on Friday that there is a “good chance” he will declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress and build a wall along the border with Mexico.

“I think there’s a good chance we’ll have to do that,” Trump said.

Trump said people should “listen closely” to his Tuesday address and indicated he'll offer more details about his plan.

Pelosi scoffed at Trump’s dismissal of the conference committee.

“I mean, really, a president who wants to have Congress be completely irrelevant in how we meet the needs of the American people? No, come on,” Pelosi said Thursday.

Pelosi will sit behind him, but Trump will literally have to face the new House Democratic majority resisting his agenda as he speaks.

Scores of female House Democrats are expected to offer a sea of white in the crowd to show solidarity with suffragettes. A spokeswoman for the chairwoman of the Democratic Women’s Working Group, Rep. Lois FrankelLois Jane FrankelDemocratic Women's Caucus calls for investigation into Epstein plea deal Epstein death sparks questions for federal government Attorney General Barr 'appalled' by Epstein death in federal custody MORE (D-Fla.), confirmed that female lawmakers are being invited to wear white.

They’ll represent the record number of women elected to Congress with the Democratic wave in November who ran against Trump’s agenda.

Other liberals will make a statement by not being in the room at all.

At least two House Democrats, Congressional Black Caucus members Reps. John LewisJohn LewisCummings invites Trump to visit Baltimore House Democrat knocks Trump's Cummings tweet: 'This guy is a terrible, terrible human being' George Wallace's daughter: 'I saw Daddy a lot' during 2016 election MORE (Ga.) and Hank JohnsonHenry (Hank) C. JohnsonThe United States broken patent system is getting worse Why target Tucker Carlson? It's part of the left's war on the right The Hill's Morning Report - How will Trump be received in Dayton and El Paso? MORE, (Ga.) won’t be attending.

And it’s possible that others will announce boycotts closer to the date. Fourteen Democrats skipped last year’s State of the Union address, including some Democrats who have called for Trump’s impeachment like Reps. Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenDanish prime minister: Trump's idea to buy Greenland 'absurd'  Juan Williams: Democrats finally hit Trump where it hurts We need a climate plan for agriculture MORE (Texas), Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersBank watchdogs approve rule to loosen ban on risky Wall Street trades F-bombs away: Why lawmakers are cursing now more than ever Banks give Congress, New York AG documents related to Russians who may have dealt with Trump: report MORE (Calif.) and Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenHobbled NRA shows strength with Trump House Democrats inch toward majority support for impeachment The Hill's Morning Report — Mueller Time: Dems, GOP ready questions for high-stakes testimony MORE (Tenn.).

“I have a problem with defiling the Speaker’s chair in the House of Representatives,” Johnson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  “I don’t want to see it lowered, as is what happens when Donald Trump comes to our floor and starts talking about groups of people, particularly Latinos, and disparaging them as a people.”

“I’d rather be somewhere else,” he added.

Other Democrats are trying to send a message with their guests, who will sit in the public galleries overlooking the chamber.

Reps. Bonnie Watson ColemanBonnie Watson ColemanHere are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment Racial politics roil Democratic Party Harris hops past Biden in early race for Black Caucus support MORE (N.J.) and Jimmy GomezJimmy GomezHere are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment Lawmakers call for 'time out' on facial recognition tech Amazon shareholders vote down limits on facial recognition software MORE (Calif.) invited two immigrants, Victorina Morales and Sandra Diaz, who worked at Trump’s Bedminster, N.J., golf club while they did not have legal status. Diaz is now a legal U.S. resident, while Morales was terminated from her job as a housekeeper in the aftermath of a New York Times report revealing her status.

“I hope that in his State of the Union address, Donald Trump will finally acknowledge the real face of immigrants in this country — women and children fleeing violence, law-abiding, tax-paying people who would do almost anything to be Americans. And if he can’t, I’ve invited Victorina so that he may look her in her eyes to tell his lies to a familiar face,” Watson Coleman said in a statement.

Swalwell, meanwhile, invited Parkland shooting survivor Cameron Kasky, one of the most outspoken student gun control activists since last year’s massacre. Kasky frequently criticizes Trump.

It’s been more than a decade since a sitting president delivered a State of the Union to an audience with so many people angling to unseat him.

When President George W. Bush delivered his address in 2003, he would have peered down at a handful of lawmakers hoping to oust him from power: Sen. John KerryJohn Forbes KerryA lesson of the Trump, Tlaib, Omar, Netanyahu affair Trump's winning weapon: Time The Memo: O'Rourke looks to hit reset button MORE (D-Mass.), who eventually won the nomination, but also House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), and Sens. John Edwards (D-N.C.), Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), who was part of the Democratic ticket that lost to Bush in 2000 after a historic court battle.

Only three members of Congress, former Reps. Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannKlobuchar urges CNN town hall audience: 'That's when you guys are supposed to cheer, OK?' Michele Bachmann praises Trump: Americans will 'never see a more godly, biblical president' Will Biden lead a 'return to normalcy' in 2020? MORE (Minn.), Ron Paul (Texas) and Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.), sought the 2012 GOP nomination to unseat then-President Obama.

But at Obama’s 2015 address, he had a cast of characters in the audience who wanted to succeed the two-term president. They included Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads What the gun safety debate says about Washington Trump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China MORE (R-Fla.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP strategist predicts Biden will win nomination, cites fundraising strength 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters MORE (R-Texas), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGraham promises ObamaCare repeal if Trump, Republicans win in 2020 Conservatives buck Trump over worries of 'socialist' drug pricing Rand Paul to 'limit' August activities due to health MORE (R-Ky.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads Cindy McCain says no one in Republican Party carries 'voice of reason' after husband's death Trump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week MORE (R-S.C.).

Trump, however, vanquished them all. In fact, during the 2016 campaign, Trump mocked Rubio’s now-infamous State of the Union GOP response where the senator — suffering from a dry mouth — took an awkward sip of water as the cameras rolled.

Those one-time 2016 GOP presidential rivals have now aligned themselves with Trump. And they likely will be applauding many of his lines on Tuesday.

Jordan Fabian contributed.