Hours after President Donald Trump said he would postpone this year’s State of the Union address, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she’s glad the issue is “off the table” and leaders can shift focus back to reopening the government. (Jan. 24)
WASHINGTON – Despite President Donald Trump ending the government shutdown, his State of the Union address is still up in the air.
One thing is for sure, however: It’s not going to take place on Tuesday as originally planned.
“It’s not happening on 1/29,” said Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
After a series of bitter letters back-and-forth, Pelosi postponed Trump’s Jan. 29 address due to the longest shutdown in U.S. history , citing, among other things, security concerns as those tasked with the high-profile event were not being paid.
“I am writing to inform you that the House of Representatives will not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing the President’s State of the Union address in the House Chamber until government has opened,” the California Democrat wrote Wednesday in a letter to Trump.
By Friday, a deal had been made and Trump agreed to reopen the federal government for three weeks, offering both relief to the 800,000 federal workers who were without pay and time to lawmakers to broker a deal on border security.
After Trump’s announcement of the government reopening, Pelosi told reporters a date would be worked out for the president’s address but for the time being, “the state of the union is not planned now.”
“What I said to the president is when the government is opened we will discuss a mutually agreeable date,” Pelosi said, adding “I’ll look forward to doing that” and welcoming Trump in the House chambers when that is done.
It’s unclear whether Pelosi and the White House have since discussed another date for the annual address, which hosts all members of Congress, the president’s cabinet and Supreme Court justices.
Trump, at first, lashed out at Pelosi after she canceled his address, claiming that the speaker “doesn’t want to hear the truth. She doesn’t want the American public to hear what’s going on.”
He added that Pelosi’s decision was “a great blotch on the incredible country that we all love” and called it a “horrible mark” and “negative part of history.”
The White House examined other venues to host the address but none matched the prestige of giving it in the House chamber, which has become customary in modern times.
President Trump thanked furloughed federal workers for their devotion during the shutdown and credited them with helping to make America great again.
Trump changed his mind and posted on Twitter that he would not be giving the address until the shutdown ended, as Pelosi suggested.
He later called her request “reasonable” and said hosting the address somewhere else would have been “disrespectful.”
“I could have got to a big auditorium and got 25,000 people in one day and you’ve been there many times, but I think that would be very disrespectful to the State of the Union, so what she said, I thought was actually reasonable,” Trump said. “We’ll have the State of the Union when the shutdown is over.”
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