Every year the United States around the time of the Super Bowl, there's a type of political super bowl that takes place. It's not an election. It's an annual speech the U.S. president gives to a joint session of the U.S. Congress. And what that means that Representatives and Senators are there along with their guests. There's a great deal of tradition that surrounds the State of the Union Address.
It's given annually. It's delivered in person. It's broadcasted on TV and online. It's followed by a speech from the political party that opposes the president. But none of this is required by the Constitution.
It says only that the president shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient. Presidents could just send Congress a letter. And several American leaders have. But giving the speech live before Congress and the American public allows modern presidents to personally let people know what they want to do and why and try to build support for their goals. That's why state of the union speeches, like the one that President Donald Trump delivered last night usually cover a range of subjects.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: And my fellow Americans, we meet tonight at a moment of unlimited potential. As we begin a new Congress, I stand here ready to work with you to achieve historic breakthroughs for all Americans.
The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican agenda or a Democrat agenda. It's the agenda of the American people. Many of us have campaigned on the same core promises to defend American jobs and demand fair trade for American workers, to rebuild and revitalize our nation's infrastructure, to reduce the price of healthcare and prescription drugs.
In just over two years since the election, we have launched an unprecedented economic boom, a boom that has rarely been seen before.
Members of Congress, the state of our union is strong.
An economic miracle is taking place in the United States. And the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations.
If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation.
Now, Republicans and Democrats must join forces again to confront an urgent national crisis. Congress has 10 days left to pass a bill that will fund our government, protect our homeland, and secure our very dangerous southern border. Now is the time for Congress to show the world that America is committed to ending illegal immigration and putting the ruthless coyotes, cartels, drug dealers and human traffickers out of business.
Most of the people in this room voted for a wall but the proper wall never got built. I will get it built.
CARL AZUZ: OK. Speeches like that one have been televised since 1947. Another tradition carried on last night began in 1966. That's when two Republican lawmakers gave a response to the Democratic president's speech. Since then, the opposing party has gotten the chance to outline its priorities often immediately after the presidential address. President Trump is a Republican. So a Democrat named Stacey Abrams was chosen to give her party's response. She's from Georgia. She was the Democratic nominee for governor in last years race. She lost the election but received national media coverage and got the chance to speak to the nation last night.
STACEY ABRAMS, FORMER GUBERNATORIAL NOMINEE FOR GEORGIA: Our most urgent work is to realize American's dreams of today and tomorrow, to carve a path to independence and prosperity that can last a lifetime. Children deserve an excellent education from cradle to career. We owe them safe schools and the highest standards regardless of zip code.
From now on, our leaders must be willing to tackle gun safety measures and face the crippling effect of educational loans, to support educators and invest what is necessary to unleash the power of American's greatest minds.
Under the current Administration, far too many hard working Americans are falling behind, living paycheck to paycheck.
Compassionate treatment at the border is not the same as open borders.
And Democrats stand ready to effectively secure our ports and borders. But we must all embrace that from agriculture to healthcare to entrepreneurship, America is made stronger by the presence of immigrants, not walls.
America wins by fighting for our shared values against all enemies foreign and domestic. That is who we are. And when we do so never wavering, the state of our union will always be strong.