House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) thought she pulled a fast one when she recommended delaying President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, but he just turned the pettiness right back on her.
On Wednesday, Pelosi sent a letter to the president suggesting that he postpone the State of the Union address due to the government shutdown. The speaker claimed the shutdown made it too difficult to secure the massive event because the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been impacted by the partial 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
As IJR previously reported, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced that the DHS and Secret Service would have no problem securing the event, leaving many to believe this was just a petty move by Pelosi to annoy Trump over the shutdown.
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.
— Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen (@SecNielsen) January 16, 2019
The White House has not announced what its plans are for the State of the Union address, though it is still scheduled for January 29. Several Republicans have suggested hosting the speech from the Senate chamber, but that hasn’t been decided.
While the State of the Union schedule still has to be resolved, it seems as though the White House was able to come up with a plan to get back at Pelosi.
It penned a letter of its own preventing Pelosi from taking a trip abroad. Like Pelosi, it cited security concerns and the demand it would put on furloughed workers as the reason the trip must be postponed.
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) January 17, 2019
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. 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. Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative.
This letter received many laughs from some conservatives who applauded Trump’s decision to turn the tables on Pelosi.
BEST POTUS EVER. https://t.co/dFyQZmxIZE
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) January 17, 2019
Others agreed that it would be best for Pelosi to stay in Washington, D.C., to negotiate a resolution to the shutdown instead of taking the expensive trip, especially following the backlash some Democrats faced after they took a tropical vacation with lobbyists to Puerto Rico during the shutdown.
.@realDonaldTrump is right to force Democrats back to the negotiating table.
It’s long past time they work with President Trump to address the crisis at the border.https://t.co/WLOCPnWGGB
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) January 17, 2019
Recall that our military supplies planes and support for "CODELs" for Congress. As one might imagine, these are often notoriously wasteful and unneeded. https://t.co/HA168BxrU7 https://t.co/mzWuVRuBv1
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) January 17, 2019
First it was Hawaii. Then it was Puerto Rico. Then it was using military aircraft to fly overseas… all while the government is shut down.
Bravo to POTUS. The Speaker (and all members) should stay in Washington until Democrats can compromise and secure our southern border. https://t.co/XQE1lJ2qmc
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) January 17, 2019
Of course, many on the left were less than thrilled that Trump responded to Pelosi’s pettiness with some pettiness of his own. They were especially concerned that the president announced a trip that was otherwise kept under wraps due to the security measures needed to enter countries like Afghanistan.
By publicizing that the Speaker of the House–the second in line to the Presidency–had planned travel to Afghanistan, Trump effectively made the trip impossible. There's good reason that those much farther down the line of succession don't publicize their travel to war zones. https://t.co/iL0HzowCPl
— Ned Price (@nedprice) January 17, 2019
Either way, this doesn’t bode well for the progress of ending the partial shutdown. Both sides are fighting proxy wars over speeches and trips abroad instead of negotiating a border security bill to end the shutdown — which has lasted nearly four weeks.