Trump Caves on State of the Union After Pelosi’s Latest Letter

Nancy Pelosi
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were set on a collision course on Wednesday over next Tuesday’s scheduled State of the Union address — and then Trump blinked.

The president, despite a reputation for confrontation and stubbornness, gave in following Pelosi’s latest letter outlining the procedural step she would take to block Trump from addressing a joint session of Congress inside the House chamber.

“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,” Pelosi wrote in her Wednesday letter, effectively ending any chance Trump had to go ahead with the address as originally planned.

Read Speaker Pelosi’s full letter to President Trump below:

 

But rather than push the confrontation further, Trump seemed to concede defeat in a series of late-night tweets fired off from the White House on Wednesday.

“This is her prerogative,” Trump wrote of Pelosi’s decision to rescind the earlier invitation that scheduled the address for January 29. In her Wednesday correspondence, the Speaker explained that she had extended the invitation under the assumption that the ongoing government shutdown would be over by the scheduled date. But with no end in sight, Pelosi instead offered Trump the opportunity to utilize the chamber for his address on a date after a deal is reached to re-open the government.

Despite some speculation that Trump could opt to give his address from another venue — the Oval Office, a rally with his supporters, or even the Senate chamber  on the other side of the Capitol — the president instead made clear that his intention is to wait until he can make the address from the House chamber, explaining that, “there is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber.”

Although the stakes of their latest confrontation were relatively low, Trump’s capitulation to Pelosi should quiet some of the speaker’s detractors from within her own caucus. Since overcoming a small band of insurgents within her own party who sought to block her from reclaiming the gavel, Pelosi has demonstrated a clear ability to go toe to toe against Trump without blinking.

And Pelosi appears to be applying that same determination to the ongoing fight over the government shutdown. In her Wednesday remarks to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the speaker explained some of her reasoning behind refusing to give Trump even an inch on his demand for border wall funding.

“There is serious and justified concern that this president would shut down the government any time he doesn’t get his way legislatively,” she explained. “That’s why we must hold the line on this shutdown in government.”

Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.

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WellHungChad
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Clearly Ms. Pelosi is in violation of the US Constitution: Article 2, section 3, [The President may] on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper…

Clearly President Trump has chosen to let red faced, stompy footed, Nancy, have her tantrum. After all, the best way to deal with a child’s tantrums is to ignore them

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