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Politics Donald Trump's State of the Union guests include girl born prematurely, Army veteran, family of fallen soldier

22:40  04 february  2020
22:40  04 february  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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The U.S. Capitol Building is seen before U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to deliver the State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts© Reuters The U.S. Capitol Building is seen before U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to deliver the State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

WASHINGTON – Like his predecessors, President Donald Trump plans to illustrate his State of the Union arguments Tuesday introducing up to a dozen guests sitting in the gallery.

"From brave military families to hardworking local leaders, this year’s guests come from many walks of life," the White House said in an announcement about State of the Union attendees who touch on the issues of economic growth, school choice, health care, immigration and the military.

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Trump plans to discuss these and other items in an address that takes place a day before the Senate is expected to acquit him in the ongoing impeachment trial.

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Aides said Trump plans to advocate new middle class tax cuts, proposals to lower drug costs, and tax credits to benefit parents who want to send their children to private school.

He is not expected to discuss impeachment, aides added.

"I don't think so," White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said during an interview on Fox & Friends. "I think that this has gone on for too long and I think that if you look at the ratings, the American people are, frankly, bored of it."

More: Donald Trump may take early victory lap at State of the Union as impeachment winds down

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More: 'The Great American Comeback': How to watch Trump's third State of the Union address

Trump's speech, which he is calling "The Great American Comeback," will take place before a joint session of Congress at 9 p.m. EST and offers Trump a high-profile platform to argue for his reelection.

The speech also comes a day after problems with the Iowa caucus left the outcome of the first contest in the Democratic nominating contest uncertain. Trump's campaign blasted the Iowa Democratic Party over what it said was a "train wreck."

The traditional of introducing State of the Union guests began in 1982 when President Ronald Reagan invited a government employee named Lenny Skutnik to the event after he had saved a woman from drowning after a plane crashed into the Potomac River.

Trump's guests this year include:

– Kelli Hake and her 1-year-old son Gage from Stillwater, Oklahoma. The White House said Hake's husband, Army Staff Sergeant Christopher Hake, was killed in Iraq by a roadside supplied by Qasem Soleimani – the Iranian leader killed by a U.S. drone strike last month.

Third House Democrat announces plans to boycott State of the Union

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– Jody Jones from Farmersville, California, whose brother Rocky was killed in 2018 by a migrant in the country illegally, the White House said.

– Paul Morrow from Montgomery, Alabama. An Army veteran, Morrow started a successful contracting business and is currently building a new concrete plant under the administration's "Opportunity Zone" program that offers tax incentives to invest in distressed areas, the White House said.

– Robin and Ellie Schneider from Kansas City, Missouri. The White House said that "Ellie was born at just 21 weeks and six days. She is one of the youngest babies to survive in the United States."

– Ivan Simonovis from Caracas, Venezuela. The former Chief of Police in Venezuela’s capital city, Simonovis was held prisoner for nearly 15 years by the country's socialist regimes, the White House said.

– Stephanie and Janiyah Davis from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who are associated with Trump's "school choice" proposal to offer tax credits to people who make contributions to private school scholarship programs. The White House said Stephanie Davis is a single-mother who wanted to send her fourth-grade daughter Janiya, to a "school that best serves her needs" rather than the "low performing schools" to which she has been assigned.

Last week, the administration announced two other guests: Raul Ortiz, a member of the Border Patrol recently promoted to deputy chief, and Tony Rankins, an Army veteran and recovering addict who found work doing construction as part of the administration's "Opportunity Zone" program.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Donald Trump's State of the Union guests include girl born prematurely, Army veteran, family of fallen soldier

Military family has heartwarming reunion during State of the Union address .
Sgt. 1st Class Townsend Williams had a surprise reunion with his wife and two children in the House chamber after being on deployment for seven months in Afghanistan.President Trump drew attention to the sacrifices made by Amy Williams and her daughter Elliana, 6, and son Rowan, 3, before letting them know they had a special visitor.

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