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President Trump's joint address to Congress last year. Photo: Samuel Corum / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

President Trump's special guests for tonight's State of the Union address make up an all-American cast: an African-American welder from Ohio who bought his first home last year; the first blind, double amputee to re-enlist in the Marine Corps; and a policeman who adopted a baby from opioid addicts.

More details on the 9pm ET SOTU address:

  • These "moments," when Trump singles out some of these special guests in the First Lady's box, are designed to be the most memorable parts of the speech, which aides say is designed to evoke pride in America.
  • Aides point out that there are very few times now when the country focuses on one thing, and they tried to make the most of the opening.
  • See the guest list, with photos.

But the lead story of the Boston Globe provides a reality check:

  • "The plush seats of the House chamber and the visitor’s gallery above will [include] lawmakers he has name-called on Twitter, Democrats who have called for his impeachment, members of congressional committees investigating his campaign’s contacts with Russia, and women legislators wearing black to support the ongoing #MeToo movement."

Go deeper

House passes sweeping election and anti-corruption bill

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The House voted 220-210Wednesday to pass Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: Expanding voting access has been a top priority for Democrats for years, but the House passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) comes as states across the country consider legislation to rollback voting access in the aftermath of former President Trump's loss.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.

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