Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul offered a potential solution to the State of the Union problem that has been front and center for the past few days — President Donald Trump bypasses the House of Representatives entirely and delivers the speech from the Senate floor.
“Senator McConnell is in charge of the Senate,” Paul tweeted Thursday morning. “If Mrs. Pelosi refuses to allow the president to deliver the State of the Union in the House, I propose we move it to the Senate and make it happen!”
Senator McConnell is in charge of the Senate. If Mrs. Pelosi refuses to allow the president to deliver the State of the Union in the House, I propose we move it to the Senate and make it happen!
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 17, 2019
Recent tradition dictates that House leadership invites the president to deliver his annual State of the Union address, but a written address is not entirely unprecedented. (RELATED: Secret Service Official: Pelosi Never Contacted Us For Security Plan Before Canceling Trump Speech)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made it clear, however, that until the government is fully reopened, she will not issue such an invitation. She has also made it clear that she plans to make no concessions in negotiations toward reopening the government.
Paul is not the only one to float the idea of an address delivered from the Senate floor as an alternative. CBS reported on Thursday that even the White House was considering the possibility.
Top White House officials are discussing whether the GOP-controlled Senate could invite President Trump to deliver the State of the Union address. https://t.co/VmLrU3fcCB
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) January 17, 2019
Some noted that the Senate chamber is much smaller. But considering the likelihood that very few Democrats would attend the event, it still might be a possibility.
This might be fun. The Senate chamber is cramped and it would be Standing Room Only, but if no one brings guests, they max out gallery space and most of the Democrats boycott (as one does these days), I bet they all could shoehorn in there. https://t.co/Qs57LfvbDm
— David Martosko (@dmartosko) January 17, 2019
Tight squeeze if the House members show up, but most Dems won’t.
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) January 16, 2019
The State of the Union is scheduled to take place Jan. 29, and so far there is no end in sight to what is now officially the longest partial government shutdown in history.