Republican members of the House of Representatives aren’t pleased with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) decision to postpone the State of the Union address as a political move against President Donald Trump.
The president and the speaker have been battling over the partial government shutdown for over a month. Because both sides are desperate for leverage to end the shutdown, the two political leaders started using the State of the Union as their political volleyball.
Here’s a refresher on the drama:
Pelosi invites Trump to give the State of the Union address.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 4, 2019
Pelosi suggests postponing the address, citing security concerns due to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) being impacted by the shutdown.
Today, I wrote to @realDonaldTrump recommending that we delay the State of the Union until after government re-opens, as the @SecretService, the lead federal agency for #SOTU security, faces its 26th day without funding. https://t.co/K2oL8WGvqo pic.twitter.com/g3fIlxDbbK
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 16, 2019
DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen disputes Pelosi’s security concerns and states that Secret Service is prepared to secure the event.
The Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union. We thank the Service for their mission focus and dedication and for all they do each day to secure our homeland.
— Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen (@SecNielsen) January 16, 2019
Trump cancels Pelosi’s trip abroad, citing the shutdown.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 17, 2019
Trump pens a letter to Pelosi, noting that there are no security concerns and that he will be giving the speech from the Capitol on January 29, per the original invite.
President Trump’s letter to Speaker Pelosi on the State of the Union pic.twitter.com/B4QN9hDJnv
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 23, 2019
Pelosi doubles down against Trump and writes a letter telling him that he is not invited to speak until the government reopens.
This afternoon, I sent @realDonaldTrump a letter informing him that the House will not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing the President’s State of the Union address in the House Chamber until government has opened. https://t.co/r1oad0xEAh pic.twitter.com/kGEbayx95u
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 23, 2019
While Republicans have been frustrated with Pelosi’s earlier decisions about the speech, her latest decision to postpone the address until the government reopens left many in GOP leadership accusing Pelosi of pettiness:
Attempts by @SpeakerPelosi to block Trump's SOTU address on the House floor are petty and unnecessary.
If Speaker Pelosi was actually concerned about federal workers getting paid, she would refocus her efforts from PR stunts to border security negotiations with the president.
— Rep. Bruce Westerman (@RepWesterman) January 23, 2019
First Nancy Pelosi invited @realDonaldTrump to deliver the #SOTU during the shutdown. Then she claimed there were security concerns, which DHS & Secret Service promptly refuted. She’s run out of excuses other than pure obstruction. It’s petty, unprecedented, and beneath Congress. https://t.co/xV82PntDiX
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) January 23, 2019
Speaker Pelosi’s decision to cancel the State of the Union address only highlights her obstruction. She’s not interested in solutions for American families. She’s only interested in a tat-for-tat with the President to appease her radical, unhinged base.
— Ken Calvert (@KenCalvert) January 23, 2019
Although there is almost no chance it would pass, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) drafted a resolution for the House to vote to allow the president to speak:
Here is the resolution. Now, more than ever, Americans should see their government leaders in the same room, working to make our future brighter. pic.twitter.com/zAit7t7TUR
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) January 23, 2019
During a press conference, McCarthy accused Pelosi of “playing politics” and called on the president to speak from the House chamber.
Watch the video below:
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 23, 2019
“I think it should hold in the House chamber, just as it was done for generations before us. I think any indication not to hold it in the chamber is wrong on the speaker’s behalf. I think the idea that you would ask the president to move at a time — it doesn’t matter what crisis America had in the past, we were able to still have a State of the Union.”
McCarthy noted that he hopes the speaker will reconsider so that the president is not forced to come up with another plan for his address.
“I think the speaker asking not to have the State of the Union is just playing politics,” McCarthy said. “I think we are better than that.”
It isn’t yet clear how the White House will respond to Pelosi’s latest move.