Wednesday, newly sworn-in Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sent a letter to President Trump asking for him to either delay the January 29th State of the Union address to Congress, or deliver it in writing to Congress on January 29th.
Her request comes as the government enters the 25th day of being partial closed, with little hope of ending the standoff between Republicans and Democrats over Southern Border Wall funding in sight.
In her letter Pelosi writes that while the Constitution calls for a President to “from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union,” these annual messages of the State of the Union were until the Presidency of Woodrow Wilson, “delivered to Congress in writing.”
She continues to explain that since the start of the “modern budgeting in Fiscal Year 1977,” a State of the Union address has never been delivered during a government shutdown.”
According to the letter, in September of 2018, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, designated the State of the Union Address as a “National Special Security,” event. Pelosi continues that Nielsen recognized the need for the “full resources of the Federal Government to be brought to bear,” to ensure the safety and security of these events.
With the designation by Nielsen issued and a law dating back to the year 2000, the Secret Service was designated as the lead federal agency responsible for “coordinating, planning, exercising, and implementing security for all National Special Security Events,” including the President’s State of the Union Address.
As Pelosi explains in her letter both the Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security “have not been funded for,” almost 26 days, “with critical departments hamstrung by furloughs.”
She concludes the letter, by writing, “given the security concerns, and unless government re-opens this week,” she suggests that, “we work together to determine another suitable date after,” the partial shutdown has ended and the government is re-opened for this address “or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to Congress.”
Some Reactions From Twitter regarding Pelosi’s letter
Some are suggesting that Pelosi has with the letter in fact dis-invited the President from addressing Congress.
But according to the Washington Post, Pelosi told reporters that she was not rescinding the invitation for President Trump to speak, however she added, “He can make it from the Oval Office if he wants.”
There has been no official response at the time of this post from President Trump or the White House.