- President Donald Trump urged more bipartisan cooperation in 2018, particularly on crafting an infrastructure plan.
- Democrats almost uniformly opposed the policies championed by Trump during his first year in office.
- It remains to be seen whether Democrats will cooperate with Trump as they try to leverage his low approval rating to electoral wins in November.
President Donald Trump is preaching bipartisan cooperation — for Tuesday night, at least.
During his first State of the Union address, the president tried to bridge a gulf between himself and Democrats in Congress that defined parts of his first year in office and the recent government shutdown. Speaking to Congress, Trump urged both major parties to work with him on reaching some of his 2018 policy goals.
He preached cooperation on revamping American infrastructure, in particular. Trump identified an infrastructure package as a possible area of agreement with Democrats early on during his time in the White House.
It remains to be seen how often Democrats seek to compromise with Trump ahead of November's midterm elections, when they will try to wrest House and Senate majorities from Republicans. As Trump's approval ratings remain low, some Democrats likely see an electoral benefit to pushing back against the president's stated goals.
Others may believe cooperation with Trump will help. Numerous Democratic senators face re-election this year in states Trump won in 2016 and could see bipartisanship as a path to winning. In fact, five of those Democrats voted with Republicans to keep the government open earlier this month.
With only 51 seats in the Senate, Republicans will need the minority party to pass major legislation this year. Democrats uniformly opposed the new GOP tax law.
Here are the major policy areas in which Trump pushed Democratic lawmakers to cooperate with him.
- Infrastructure: "I am asking both parties to come together to give us safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure that our economy needs and our people deserve. ... Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment that our country so desperately needs."
With a tax bill passed, Trump has set his sights on overhauling American roads, bridges and airports. Trump hopes to leverage at least $1.5 trillion in mostly private funding to revamp U.S. transportation and help to boost economic growth. (Read more about Trump's infrastructure proposal here.)
- Immigration: "For over 30 years, Washington has tried and failed to solve this problem. This Congress can be the one that finally makes it happen."
Trump called on lawmakers to support his immigration proposal that he argues can get support from both sides of the aisle. He said the plan is "one where nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs."
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed skepticism about the White House proposal. As Trump walked through the conservative pieces of the plan, Democratic leaders sat stone-faced without applauding.
Most lawmakers want to pass a bill enshrining protections for young immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children. Republicans want increased border security funding and other changes to the immigration system in exchange for shielding those immigrants. (Read more about Trump's immigration proposal here.)