OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - President Trump faces a tricky balancing act in his 2019 State of the Union address, with competing forces impacting the tone and topics of his speech.
On the one hand, there is the need to compromise in order to get his policies passed by the Democratic-controlled House. On the other hand, there's the need to deliver on promises that appease his political base.
"President Trump is coming off a mid-term election where he lost the House. He's gearing up for a 2020 re-election," said Political Science Professor Alison Howard of Dominican University. Professor Howard says the speech also comes with urgency as the clock ticks down to another possible government shutdown on February 15th if a solution is not reached on border security and the President's long-promised border wall.
"In the State of the Union, the President is calling for an end to sort of resistance and retribution politics and calling for a cooperation and compromise," said Kellyanne Conway, a White House advisor.
Professor Howard says there could be room for bipartisan agreement.
"I think Democrats have been wanting to do infrastructure policy for a while. The high cost of prescription drugs is something Trump mentioned last year in his State of the Union address. I don't think that's a partisan issue," said Professor Howard.
A spirit of compromise was not reflected, however, in President Trump's Tweet Sunday, saying "Dems do nothing. If there is no wall there is no security."
The President has hinted he might declare a national state of emergency on immigration to build a border wall without Congress, using funds tagged for emergency relief.
The White House released a list of official guests Monday that foreshadow his policy points.
Included are the family of a Reno couple killed by a suspected illegal immigrant and a border security agent who works on drugs and human trafficking.
Highlighting the economy and jobs, is a worker at a lumber facility that reopened following the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Giving the Democrats' Spanish language response is Attorney General Xavier Becerra. He says he'll talk about how Democrats and Republicans should work together, regardless of President Trump's actions.
"If he's planning to move forward with ideas that are bipartisan and that can be done in Congress, great. California and the rest of the nation are waiting for this federal government to finally do things other than shutdown," says Becerra.
"I'll be talking about how I believe we can move together cooperatively to get things done. It's a team effort. Democracy certainly is a team effort," said Becerra, who will deliver his response from his alma mater, McClatchy High School in Sacramento.
The State of the Union address is before a joint session of Congress and Democrats also invite guests.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee has invited an East Bay oncology nurse who was deported by the Trump administration.
Congresswoman Jackie Speier has invited a transgender military service member.
Senator Kamala Harris has invited a wildfire survivor who was then furloughed by the government shutdown.
KTVU Reporter Jana Katsuyama contributed to this report.