Pelosi postpones State of the Union address until government fully reopens

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WASHINGTON (AP) (1/23/2019) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is officially postponing President Donald Trump's State of the Union address until the government is fully reopened.

The California Democrat told Trump in a letter Wednesday the Democratic-controlled House won't pass the required measure for him to give the nationally televised speech from the House floor.

Pelosi acted just hours after Trump notified her that he was planning to deliver the speech next Tuesday in line with her original invitation.

Pelosi's moves have left the White House scrambling to devise an alternative plan for the speech, which is one of the president's top opportunities to lay out his agenda to the public.

Pelosi said "I look forward to welcoming you to the House on a mutually agreeable date for this address when government has been opened."

Trump said he is not surprised about Pelosi officially postponing his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress until the government is fully reopened.

Trump says Democrats have become "radicalized" and "don't want to see crime stopped, which we could very easily do on the southern border."

Trump was asked about Pelosi's action during a health care event at the White House and as the government shutdown extended into a second month.

The president said: "This will go on for a while. Ultimately the American people will have their way because they want to see no crime."

The stalemate over funding a U.S.-Mexico border wall has produced the longest partial government shutdown in U.S. history.

Trump issued a letter to Pelosi on Wednesday. In it he dismisses her suggestion the speech should be postponed or delivered in writing due to security issues related to the partial government shutdown. Declaring there are "no security concerns," Trump says he will fulfill his "Constitutional duty."

Trump adds that it would be "so very sad" for the country if the address is not given as planned on Jan. 29.

Pelosi last week cited the impact of the ongoing shutdown on the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Secret Service. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the agencies were prepared to support the speech.



 
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