President Trump was scheduled to give the annual State of the Union address on January 29th. That’s no longer happening.
As the government continues to operate under a partial shutdown, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Wednesday uninvited the president from delivering the address. Pelosi wrote that expending government resources to ensure the event’s security would be inappropriate considering that both the Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security are currently without funding. “Sadly, given the security concerns and unless the government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union in writing to the Congress on January 29th.”
Here’s the letter from Pelosi uninviting President Trump to give the State of The Union address on January 29th pic.twitter.com/InuBKUV4FF
— Justin Gray (@grayjustin) January 16, 2019
The government has been partially shut down since December 21st. President Trump has refused to re-open it, even temporarily, unless congressional Democrats agree to appropriate $5.7 billion in taxpayer money to fund a border wall. Since the shutdown took effect, 800,000 federal employees have gone without paychecks, and the institutions managed by furloughed employees have begun to slip into disrepair. So, too, has the economy. On Tuesday, the White House doubled its previous estimate of how much economic growth is being lost each week due to the shutdown.
The letter from Pelosi is sure to irk the White House, which has yet to respond publicly. CNN’s Kaitlin Collins reported on Wednesday that “Stephen Miller and other speechwriters have been working on Trump’s address for weeks” and that they “were prepared to craft it around the government shutdown.” Trump’s State of the Union message would have undoubtedly resembled the address he delivered last week from the Oval Office, when he tried to sell the nation on the need for a border wall mostly by describing instances of illegal immigrants murdering Americans in graphic detail.
Stephen Miller and other speechwriters have been working on Trump’s address for weeks. They were prepared to craft it around the government shutdown, I’m told. https://t.co/ynqKeMxfEa
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) January 16, 2019
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), who earlier this month announced Pelosi as the new House speaker, weighed in on Twitter shortly after the letter was made public. “Individual 1 will not be permitted to deliver his state of the union address until government is reopened,” he wrote, referencing how the president has been labeled in legal filings. “Welcome to life in the New Democratic Majority. Get used to it. #EndTrumpShutdown.”