House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rescinded President Donald Trump’s invitation to deliver his State of the Union message in the House chamber on Jan. 29.
In response, Trump told reporters that he was “not surprised” by Pelosi’s move and will hold the address in an alternative location.
In a letter to Pelosi on Wednesday, the president reminded the speaker that he had accepted her invitation dated Jan. 3, as well as reviewed her Jan. 16 correspondence suggesting the speech be delayed due to the government shutdown’s potential impact on security for the event.
“Even prior to asking, I was contacted by the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Secret Service to explain that there would be absolutely no problem regarding security with respect to the event,” Trump wrote.
“They have since confirmed this publicly.”
The president contended since there are no security concerns, he would honor Pelosi’s invitation and fulfill his “Constitutional duty to deliver important information to the people and Congress of the United States of America regarding the State of our Union” on Jan. 29.
Pelosi wrote back that when she extended the invitation, “there was no thought that the government would still be shut down.”
“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,” the speaker said.
Pelosi concluded, “I look forward to welcoming you to the House on a mutually agreeable date for this address when government has been opened.”
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
White House reporters asked Trump his response to the speaker’s decision.
“I’m not surprised,” he said. “It’s really a shame what’s happening with the Democrats. They’ve become radicalized.”
President Trump responds to @SpeakerPelosi not considering Concurrent Resolution to have him come to House on January 29 to deliver State of the Union: “I’m not surprised. It’s really a shame what’s happening with the Democrats. They’ve become radicalized.” #sotu pic.twitter.com/IVahs9aHOH
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 23, 2019
“They don’t want to see crime stopped, which we could easily do on the southern border,” Trump added. “Ultimately the American people will have their way because they want to see no crime.”
The president promised, “we’ll do something in the alternative,” Politico reported.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine’s attempt to bring legislation to the floor to reopen the government on Wednesday that does not include Trump’s requested funding for a border wall, according to The Hill.
McConnell plans to hold votes on Thursday on dueling proposals to reopen the government.
The first is a White House-backed proposal that includes $5.7 billion for a border wall in exchange for a three-year extension of protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients and some Temporary Protected Status holders.
The second is a continuing resolution that would reopen the government through Feb. 8.
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