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Pelosi refuses to let Trump give State of Union in House until gov’t reopens

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaking with attendees at a Trump Tax Town Hall hosted by Tax March at Events on Jackson in Phoenix, Arizona, Feb. 20, 2018. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
January 23, 2019

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates as more information becomes available.

Just hours after President Trump said he would give his State of the Union address on Tuesday as planned, and not delay it, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to the President that the House will not pass a resolution allowing him to give his speech in the House until the government fully reopens.

In her letter on Wednesday, Pelosi said, “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 back and forth between Trump and Pelosi has been heightened and ongoing since the government partially shut down 33 days ago, and has not reopened because Trump and Congressional Democrats cannot come to an agreement over funding for a southern border wall.

Trump earlier today sent a letter to Pelosi saying he would hold his State of the Union address next week as planned, despite Pelosi’s request to delay it amid the partial government shutdown.

Trump acknowledged a letter Pelosi sent him on Jan. 3, in which she invited him to hold the State of the Union in the House chambers on Jan. 29.

However, she sent a second letter on Jan. 16, citing security concerns and requesting the President delay the speech.

“Even prior to asking, I was contacted by the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Secret Service to explain that there would be absolutely no problem regarding security with respect to the event. They have since confirmed this publicly,” Trump wrote in his letter to Pelosi.

The letters today are the latest spat between Trump and Pelosi. Last week, Trump delayed Pelosi’s seven-day overseas trip due to the government shutdown by barring her from flying on a government plane.

“Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would be your prerogative,” Trump said in his Jan. 17 letter to Pelosi. That letter came just one day after Pelosi’s letter citing security concerns for delaying the State of the Union address.

Trump also tweeted directly about Pelosi’s trip, saying, “Why would Nancy Pelosi leave the Country with other Democrats on a seven day excursion when 800,000 great people are not getting paid. Also, could somebody please explain to Nancy & her “big donors” in wine country that people working on farms (grapes) will have easy access in!”