House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is seeking to delay President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address until after the government shutdown is over.
News: @SpeakerPelosi letter to President Trump suggesting he move State of the Union until after government re-opens – or submit his speech in writing instead – due to Shutdown effect in DHS and Secret Service, via @FoxReports & @arogDC: pic.twitter.com/CPMvjm7shr
— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) January 16, 2019
“A State of the Union address has never been delivered during a government shutdown,” she said in a letter to Trump, adding “Given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th.”
Pelosi referenced the lack of pay to the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security employees, and the possible effect on security surrounding the landmark yearly event.
Pelosi’s request to Trump for a delay in the state of the union address comes during the partial government shutdown, which is part of a broader high stakes fight over funding for the border wall. Trump is demanding $5.7 billion in funding for the wall, but Democratic leaders are saying they’ll only offer $1.6 billion.
Talks screeched to a halt last week when Trump asked Pelosi point blank in the White House Situation Room whether she would negotiate over border wall funds if he re-opened the government. After Pelosi replied that she would not, Trump said “bye bye” and walked out. (RELATED: Democratic Rep. Katie Hill Says She Would Fund Border Barrier, Blames Impasse On ‘Semantics’)
Both sides have taken absolutist positions with Democrats saying they will not negotiate with Trump over funding for a proposed wall along the U.S. southern border. The White House expressed hope Tuesday that some moderate Democrats may be willing to break away from their leadership, with officials pointing to the number of Democratic lawmakers newly-elected to Congress who reside in districts that supported Trump in 2016.