President Donald Trump on Thursday said he was postponing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s upcoming trip overseas due to the partial government shutdown.
This comes after Pelosi earlier this week called on Trump to delay his State of the Union address, scheduled for Jan. 29, until the partial government shutdown – now the longest lapse of federal funding in history – has ended. The partial shutdown has lasted for 27 days.
The government remains partially shut down because Congress cannot pass a bipartisan appropriations act that would fund the entire government, a bill that Trump says must include nearly $6 billion to fund a southern border wall. Trump and Congressional Democrats remain in a standoff over the cost of the border wall – Trump wants one and won’t budge on his position, while Democrats refuse to fund a border wall.
In a letter to Pelosi on Thursday, Trump wrote, “Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed. We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over. In light of the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay, I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate.”
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 17, 2019
“I also feel that, during this period, it would be better if you were in Washington negotiating with me and joining the Strong Border Security movement to end the shutdown,” Trump continued. “Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would be your prerogative.”
“I look forward to seeing you soon and even more forward to watching our open and dangerous Southern Border finally receive the attention, funding and security it so desperately deserves,” he added.
There are roughly 800,000 federal workers affected by the partial shutdown; 420,000 of those employees are working without pay while others are furloughed.
The main obstacle in garnering bipartisan approval for a federal appropriations bill has been the $5.7 billion Trump insists must be included to secure the southern border.
The government has remained partially shut down since Dec. 22, 2018. In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of federal workers aren’t being paid, and many federal services aren’t being offered. The FDA isn’t offering some inspections, many national parks are closed, immigration courts aren’t open, and many museums are also closed.
Earlier this week, Pelosi cited security concerns as one of the reasons why the President should not give his State of the Union until the government is reopened. However, Homeland Security officials anonymously told Fox News that, despite not being paid under the partial shutdown, they are prepared for the address, and have been for months.
On Thursday, Pelosi told reporters, “The date of the State of the Union is not a sacred date. It’s not constitutionally required. It’s not the president’s birthday. It’s just a date we agreed to. That’s why I said to the President, if you don’t open up government, let’s discuss a mutually agreeable date,” Fox reported.
Following her comments, Trump said, “While many Democrats in the House and Senate would like to make a deal, Speaker Pelosi will not let them negotiate. The party has been hijacked by the open-borders fringe within the party. The radical left becoming the radical Democrats. Hopefully, Democratic lawmakers will step forward to do what is right for our country, and what is right for our country is border security at the strongest level.”
Trump also tweeted, “The Left has become totally unhinged. They no longer care what is Right for our Countrty!”
The Left has become totally unhinged. They no longer care what is Right for our Countrty!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2019