US President Donald Trump used his first State of the Union Address to lay out details of an immigration reform deal he had offered several days earlier, which offered citizenship for "dreamers" - undocumented immigrants brought to the US. as children - in return for increased spending on border security and large cuts in legal immigration levels.
But he sought to repurpose the term "dreamer," saying that it shouldn't be an excuse to shortchange Americans' economic prospects or safety.
Trump also used his speech to frame the fight over immigration as largely a fight over safety - saying that previous administrations' policies have "caused the loss of many innocent lives."
"My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans -- to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. Because Americans are dreamers too," Trump said.
He pointed to guests in his box as examples of the threat posed by MS-13, a criminal gang active in both the United States and Central America. Trump's guests will include a federal immigration agent who has investigated the gang, and two sets of parents whose children were killed by MS-13 members.
More than 50 Democratic lawmakers have invited "dreamers" to attend as guests to dramatize their demand for legal status. In response, Republican Paul Gosar, tweeted that he had asked the Capitol Police to check all guests' IDs, and arrest "any illegal aliens in attendance."
Trump used his speech to make the case that his first year in office has been an enormous success, noting continuing declines in the unemployment rate, a large tax cut, and cutbacks in federal regulations. He touted his nationalist agenda on trade - which has produced little tangible results so far - as setting a tone that the world had noticed.
"Our nation has lost it's wealth," Trump said. "But we're getting it back so fast."
Trump touted the GOP's huge new tax-cut bill, saying that many Americans would start seeing more tax-home pay soon.
"Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses," Trump said, speaking about a bill passed with only Republican votes. He celebrated the end of a provision from President Obama's health-care law, which required many Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a tax. "The individual mandate is now gone. Thank heavens."
Trump pointed out small business owners from Ohio, who he said had just had the best year in the 20-year history of their business. Because of tax reform, he said, their business is expanding its space and hiring new workers.
"This, in fact, is our new American moment. There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream," he said. Speaking to viewers at home: "This is your time . . . . Together, we can achieve absolutely anything."
Republicans in the House chambers cheered Trump's remarks, while many Democrats sat silent and motionless.
Trump's celebration of the GOP's tax bill came just after a section of his speech in which he implored Democrats to work together with him, saying that America's needs required bipartisan cooperation.
Trump began his speech with an appeal to unity, lauding heroes from the biggest calamities of 2017 - hurricanes, forest fires and mass shootings - as an example that a divided nation might come together.
"It is not enough to come together only in times of tragedy," said Trump. "Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve."
Trump has made aggressive attacks a hallmark of his political style and the first year of his presidency, using his Twitter account to attack celebrities, Democrats and members of his own party and cabinet. In politics, his first year was marked by sharp partisanship, with Republicans using special rules to force through a massive tax-cut bill over Democratic objections.
There will be two official Democratic responses, one in English and one in Spanish. The English response, given by Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., will say that Trump is "targeting the very idea that we are all worthy of protection," and call attention to growing income inequality, according to excerpts released Tuesday evening. A Democratic America, Kennedy will say, would be "brave enough to admit that top CEOs making 300 times the average worker is not right."
The Spanish response, given by Virginia state Del. Elizabeth Guzman, will attack Trump for ending the deferred-action program and putting hundreds of thousands in danger of deportation. "These people have acted in accordance with the law, they have paid taxes," Guzman will say, according to excerpts. "The President has also failed in his duty to protect our families in Puerto Rico who were affected by hurricane Maria. This is unjust. This is unacceptable."
Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who ran as a Democrat in 2016, will also give his own rebuttal.
Trump's call for bipartisanship and an end to division seemed unlikely to change the tone in Washington - where, in the hours leading up to Trump's address, lawmakers seemed more divided than ever. One major cause was the fight over a House Intelligence Committee "memo" that purportedly raises questions about federal investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Many Republicans have used that memo, which was written by staff members of the committee chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, as a reason to question the validity of scrutiny of Trump and his staff by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
The divisions over immigration will be visible in the gallery that overlooks the House chamber. More than 50 Democratic lawmakers have invited "dreamers" to attend as guests to dramatize their demand for legal status. In response, Republican Rep. Paul Gosar, Ariz., tweeted that he had asked the Capitol Police to check all guests' IDs, and arrest "any illegal aliens in attendance."
In Trump's box, he has guests who will highlight the threat posed by MS-13, a criminal gang active in both the United States and Central America. Trump's guests will include a federal immigration agent who has investigated the gang, and two sets of parents whose children were killed by MS-13 members.
The excerpts released from Trump's speech show he will also push for increased spending on infrastructure - and reductions in the environmental review process for some new projects. "We built the Empire State Building in just one year - isn't it a disgrace that it can now take ten years just to get a permit approved for a simple road?" Trump plans to say.
The excerpts show that Trump will also tout his administration's cutbacks on government regulations more generally. "In our drive to make Washington accountable, we have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in history," he will say, according to the White House.
Trump will walk into the House chamber on Tuesday with an approval rating around 39 percent. That's the lowest of any recent president at this point in his first term, going back to Harry S. Truman, according to the poll-aggregation site fivethirtyeight.com.
The divisions have changed even one of the most durable Washington traditions: the president's triumphant walk down the House's center aisle, shaking hands with lawmakers from both sides. Some Democrats who had traditionally staked out seats along the aisle have said this year that they won't do it.
In the audience, some female Democrats have said they will be wearing black as a signal of their support for the #MeToo movement, raising awareness to combat sexual misconduct. A number of Republican women have said they will wear red, white and blue to show support for the US military.
Trump faces a difficult political task: to reverse his approval numbers and refocus the public on the massive tax cuts pushed through by the GOP late last year.
He speaks at a time when Democrats feel increasingly confident - having won a series of special elections in Trump's heartland, including a US Senate seat from Alabama.
But that task will require more than simply reading a speech Tuesday. It will require Trump to focus on the GOP's message and avoid distracting or damaging battles with the targets he's favored so far: celebrities, federal law-enforcement officials and his own Cabinet members.
Last year, he couldn't do it.
About a year ago, Trump gave his first address to a joint session of Congress - technically, not a "State of the Union" address - which was widely praised as his most "presidential" moment in office.
A few days later, Trump accused former president Barack Obama of having Trump's "wires tapped" in Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign. He gave no evidence, and the FBI director later said there was "no information" to support Trump's accusation.
"Success in the midterm hinges on selling the tax bill to the American people," one senior Republican strategist told The Washington Post this week. "To do that successfully, we need the president and the White House making the case every day instead of every sixth day."'
This year, a CNN report indicates that Trump may already be planning a move that would distract from his State of the Union message - authorizing the release of the GOP memo that casts aspersions on the FBI's investigation of Trump.