With all the buzz surrounding President Donald Trump’s first address to Congress since he took office in January, the logistics of how long the show will last have taken the back burner to speculation about what, exactly, the new president will talk about. All the same, knowing when Trump’s address to Congress will end is an important part of figuring out where and how to watch, and, of course, how to decompress afterwards.
According to Politico-obtained audio, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Trump’s speech will be 70-80 minutes in length. Given that it begins at 9 p.m. EST, that means Trump’s speech should be over no later than 10:30 p.m. EST.
According to Spicer, Trump doesn’t intend to denote specifics about policy issues and will be more concerned with “the broad contours” of the president’s vision for the nation. Spicer also said Trump intends to discuss America’s legacy, and note that the country will turn 250 years old in 9 years. Spicer said Trump does not intend to discuss the controversial executive orders of his first month as president, but does plan on discussing the national debt. He also reportedly intends to lay out his reasoning for wanting more military spending, though Spicer noted the administration won’t provide details about how they plan on acquiring that budget until they speak with military officials.
Ahead of his speech, the first of its kind since Trump took office, speculation about the exact content of the address swirled online. In an outline given to conservative media sites, Trump's speech is set to be decidedly more optimistic than his inauguration speech. The White House reportedly provided excerpts to sites like The Resurgent, and those excerpts painted an interesting portrait of what Trump intends to say during the nearly hour-and-a-half-long speech.
Despite the outlines, excerpts, and talking points provided to Congress, there's still a fair amount of uncertainty about Trump given his unique and often roundabout speaking style. It seems relatively safe to suspect that the speech will deal in generalities about his policy plans rather than specifics and act as a sort of "reset" to ease tensions among the parties, but beyond that, Trump's first address to Congress as president is about as unpredictable as his election, transition, and fledgling presidency.
Trump's address to Congress may have a suggested time limit, but with a president as unorthodox as this one, there's little to be certain of in this address or any other aspect of his presidency.