Pelosi won't let Trump use the House for his State of the Union until the shutdown ends

The sparring continues.
January 23, 2019, 8:22pm
Pelosi won't let Trump use the House for State of the Union  until the shutdown ends

Nancy Pelosi just disinvited President Donald Trump from his own party. After all, he was trying to throw it in her House.

Trump is scheduled to give the annual State of the Union Address on Jan. 29 — more than a month into the partial government shutdown that has placed 800,000 federal workers in turmoil — and said in a letter to House Speaker Pelosi Wednesday that he’d give the address in the House, as is customary. However, it’s almost certain he’ll use the speech as an opportunity to talk, yet again, about spending $5.7 billion on a U.S.-Mexico border wall. And the Democratic speaker isn’t having it until Trump reopens the government, she said in a letter responding.

"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 the government has opened," Pelosi wrote.

Trump told reporters he wasn’t surprised by Pelosi’s move. But it’s not exactly surprising, either, that Trump’s attempting to irk Pelosi. Five weeks into the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, the two have continued to spar over the way they’ll resolve Trump’s insistence on a border wall. Last week, when Pelosi again suggested that Trump should postpone the address, Trump grounded her flight to Egypt, Belgium and Afghanistan.

"It's really a shame what's happening with the Democrats. They've become radicalized,” he said. Before the State of the Union, the House and Senate have to pass a resolution for a joint session of Congress to sit before the president. The in-person speech is required by the Constitution, and the House speaker has to formally invite the president (Pelosi did that part.) Pelosi has suggested it be delayed, done in the Oval Office or that Trump convey his message through writing, citing security concerns. "It would be so very sad for our country, if the State of the Union were not delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location!" Trump wrote in his letter.

Cover: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)