Update: Well that did not take long.
A few hours after President Trump told Speaker Pelosi he would accept her earlier invitation to deliver his SOTU speech in the House, daring the House Democratic leader to rescind her invitation, the Democrat leader responded angrily doing just that, and blocking the President from delivering his annual address next Tuesday:
Dear Mr. President:
When I extended an invitation on January 3″I for you to deliver the State of the Union address, it was on the mutually agreed upon date, January 29th. At that time, there was no thought that the government would still be shut down.
In my further correspondence of January 16th, I said we should work together to find a mutually agreeable date when government has re-opened and I hope that we can still do that.
I am writing to inform you that the House of Representatives will not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing the President’s State of the Union address in the House Chamber until government has opened.
Again, I look forward to welcoming you to the House on a mutually agreeable date for this address when government has been opened.
The circus must go on, although one wonders…
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President Trump has rebuffed Speaker Pelosi’s politically-charged threat to delay his speech due to the shutdown, saying in a letter that he plans to deliver the State of the Union Address at the House chamber as planned on Tuesday as scheduled (accepting an invitation that Pelosi had sent earlier in the year).
Pelosi had suggested Trump consider delaying the speech if the shutdown continued, citing security concerns because Secret Service agents and Department of Homeland Security staff aren’t being paid during the shutdown.
However, both have reassured Trump that security will not be a problem and so he sent the following letter to the California Democrat:
Dear Madam Speaker:
Thank you for your letter of January 3, 2019, sent to me long after the Shutdown began, inviting me to address the Nation on January 29th as to the State of the Union.
As you know, I had already accepted your kind invitation, however, I then received another letter from you dated January 16, 2019, wherein you expressed concerns regarding security during the State of the Union Address due to the Shutdown. Even prior to asking, I was contacted by the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Secret Service to explain that there would be absolutely no problem regarding security with respect to the event. They have since confirmed this publicly.
Accordingly, there are no security concerns regarding the State of the Union Address. Therefore, I will be honoring your invitation, and fulfilling my Constitutional duty, to deliver important information to the people and Congress of the United States of America regarding the State of our Union.
I look forward to seeing you on the evening on January 29th in the Chamber of the House of Representatives. It would be so very sad for our Country if the State of the Union were not delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location!
So what will Nancy do next? Politico’s Jake Sherman notes that…
Or there are alternatives…