House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants a raincheck on President Trump's State of the Union.
The Democratic leader on Wednesday officially requested that the president delay his annual address, which is currently scheduled for Jan. 29, because of the partial government shutdown. She cites "security concerns," pointing out that the event requires "weeks of detailed planning with dozens of agencies" that would be difficult to accomplish since "critical departments" are currently "hamstrung by furloughs."
Pelosi suggests she and Trump work together to come up with a new date for the State of the Union that would be after the government re-opens. Alternatively, she suggests Trump simply deliver his address in writing instead of in person, as presidents did before former President Woodrow Wilson's administration. She notes that this is all assuming the government doesn't re-open this week, and with negotiations stalled, there is virtually no chance it does.
That latter suggestion will probably be a non-starter with Trump, whose conservative allies in the media had suggested use the address as an opportunity to rally the nation to his side in the shutdown battle. Fox News' Sean Hannity, for instance, had argued earlier this month that Trump should continue the shutdown until the end of January and, in his State of the Union address, "take his case directly to you, we the people," reports HuffPost.
Read Pelosi's full letter below. Brendan Morrow