Nunes: State of the Union Controversy Shows 'Weak' Pelosi

Sunday, 27 Jan, 2019

Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, have been entangled in a bitter feud between the ongoing partial government shutdown and her uninviting the president to give his State of the Union address, which was previously scheduled on January 29.

It came after Ms Pelosi served notice earlier on Wednesday that Mr Trump will not be allowed to deliver the address to a joint session of Congress next week.

Last week, Pelosi effectively disinvited Trump from giving his speech on January 29, and the president responded by canceling her foreign travel and committing to giving his address from the Capitol.

Likely not. Trump's State of the Union delay decision appears more like what then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld described as a "strategic pause" rather than a full retreat during a particularly rough time in the George W. Bush administration's Iraq War. Democrats have so far rejected the White House's offers to include some deportation protections in exchange for wall funding. "This will go on for awhile. Ultimately the American people will have their way because they want to see no crime, they want to see what we're doing". Pelosi previously had asked Trump to consider postponing it because security could not be guaranteed during the shutdown. I agreed. She then changed her mind because of the Shutdown, suggesting a later date.

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Representative Jim Clyburn, the No. 3 House Democrat, welcomed any effort by the Republican-led Senate to debate and vote on legislation to reopen the government following that chamber's monthlong abstention.

Some 800,000 federal employees have been going unpaid since 22 December as a result of the shutdown.

"This is her prerogative", he said, adding that he was no longer looking for an alternative venue but looked forward to making the speech in the near future. "We'll do something in the alternative", he told reporters.

But a day later he withdrew her use of government aircraft for a congressional junket to Europe, arguing she needed to be in Washington to negotiate a border security agreement and reopen the government.

UPDATE: In response to Trump's letter, Pelosi remained obdurate.

US President Donald Trump says he will deliver a speech to Congress next week, despite calls from top Democrats for it to be postponed over security risks.

The legislative deadlock leaves Congress and the president red-faced and adrift as hundreds of thousands of federal workers, some reliant on food banks to make ends meet, are about to miss a second paycheck.

Mrs Pelosi responded with her own tweet saying she hoped Mr Trump would back a bill passed by the House of Representatives to fund the agencies affected by the shutdown.

But Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator who often has the president's ear, said he discussed with Trump the new proposal gaining traction: a continuing resolution that funds government for three weeks.

Trump's first State of the Union address a year ago lasted 80 minutes, making it one of the longest such speeches in US history. He said that, in Trump's life before politics, he never retreated, choosing instead to deflect, blame others, or simply declare himself a success even when he wasn't, insisting, for instance, that "The Apprentice" show was a hit even when it was lagging in the ratings and framing his bankruptcies as smart legal maneuvers.