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President Donald Trump is expected to issue a broad call for overhauling the nation’s health care system and revving up the U.S. economy when he delivers his first address to Congress on Tuesday night. But he could leave anxious lawmakers with few specific guidelines for tackling the complicated legislative priorities that have divided his own Republican Party.
Trump’s address comes at a pivotal moment for a new president elected on pledges to swiftly shake up Washington and follow through on the failed promises of career politicians.
The president spent his opening weeks in office flexing his executive power but has yet to push into the complex legislative battles over health care and tax reform. The White House has been plagued by persistent questions about Trump campaign advisers’ contacts with Russia during the election. The president has picked fights with the media and the intelligence community, blaming agencies he now oversees for leaking classified information that put him in a negative light. Trump’s turbulent start has left him saddled with historically low approval ratings for a new president. Just 44 percent of Americans approve of his job performance, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey.
Trump’s speech is technically not a State of the Union address, though newly sworn-in presidents do often address a joint session of Congress in their first weeks in office. The Supreme Court justices and members of Trump’s Cabinet will be on hand for the televised event, which kicks off at 9 p.m. ET.
Watch the speech live below.
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