President Donald Trump is still planning to deliver a State of the Union address, but the details — like so much in Washington — are uncertain.
The speech has been scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 29. Traditionally, the speech is delivered to a joint session of Congress. However, in this non-traditional time of a partial government shutdown, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing back against the use of what is technically her space for a presidential address. She has said she’s not sure security is up the job due to the shutdown.
Procedurally, Pelosi can also block the speech by failing to pass the joint resolution with the Senate convening a joint session to hear Trump.
Fox News also reported that Pelosi canceled one walk-through of the House requested by the White House, but that the White House is trying to schedule one for later in the week.
Thank you @realdonaldtrump for the great conversation earlier this AM and for your continued commitment to the Great Lakes State. I understand you have other plans for #SOTU, but as we discussed, I look forward to hosting you in Michigan again soon. Keep up the great work! @POTUS
— Lee Chatfield (@LeeChatfield) January 22, 2019
Thanks President @RealDonaldTrump for responding to my invitation to deliver #SOTU in North Carolina. The address represents the best of our democratic values & offers leaders on both sides of the aisle an opportunity to speak to the American people. https://t.co/OueovOqqRh #ncga
— Speaker Tim Moore (@NCHouseSpeaker) January 22, 2019
“We are still in a holding pattern,” Fox News quoted what it called “one senior source” as saying.
The unnamed sources CNN quoted in its reporting seemed to indicate the president was moving forward with plans to speak on Capitol Hill.
“She invited us. We accepted,” another official said of Pelosi. “She cited security concerns. (The Department of Homeland Security) responded to those. And we are moving forward.”
Trump tweaked Pelosi about the speech in a weekend tweet.
Nancy, I am still thinking about the State of the Union speech, there are so many options – including doing it as per your written offer (made during the Shutdown, security is no problem), and my written acceptance. While a contract is a contract, I’ll get back to you soon!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2019
On Tuesday, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said Trump has many options if Pelosi won’t open the House for the traditional event.
“There are many ways he can deliver the State of the Union address,” Gidley said on the Fox News show “America’s Newsroom.”
Gidley accused Pelosi of “trying to play politics with that venue” and said any claim of security issues was bogus.
“If the Secret Service can protect the president of the United States on a trip to Iraq, chances are they can protect the American president in the halls of Congress,” Gidley said.
Gidley said Pelosi is not in charge.
“Nancy Pelosi does not dictate to the president when he will or will not have a conversation with the American people,” he said. “The President has an incredible story to tell about how far we’ve come in this country economically, in a national security capacity.”
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