Pelosi Drops the Hammer: No State of the Union Until the Government Is Open

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) responded to a letter from President Donald Trump on Wednesday, all but assuring that the president won’t give his State of the Union address as scheduled on Tuesday.

Pelosi’s letter comes after Trump responded to Pelosi’s earlier concerns about security for the event, given the ongoing shutdown. Trump dismissed those concerns in his own letter on Wednesday, citing assurances from both the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Secret Service that the lapse in funding would not adversely effect preparedness for one of Washington’s biggest annual security events.

“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!” he wrote.

But Pelosi’s latest correspondence is sure to rain on Trump’s parade. In a letter addressed to the president, the Speaker explained that she had initially extended the invitation for a January 29 address with the assumption that the government would have re-opened before then.

“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,” she wrote.

Without a concurrent resolution, Congress cannot hold a joint session for the president to deliver his State of the Union address.

“Again, I look forward to welcoming you to the House on a mutually agreeable date for this address when government has been opened,” Pelosi added.

The announcement comes after reports that Pelosi had advised members against bringing their families to Washington next week, a strong indicator that the State of the Union would not be held as previously scheduled.

With no path to a deal to re-open the government anytime soon, it seems clear that Trump won’t be given the opportunity to speak in the House chamber on Tuesday as originally planned.

What do you think?

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