The government shutdown that has stretched on for more than a month now continues to create havoc. It is that time of year again, when the President gives his annual State of the Union speech. Now House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has officially canceled the speech, a move which has prompted President Trump to consider other ways of getting his message to the nation.
Pelosi’s rational for cancelling the speech hinges on her view that gathering all of the most powerful politicians in one place might pose a security risk. With so many workers furloughed, finding adequate protection for the speech could be difficult.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen dismissed those claims. Her department, she said, was ready and willing to protect the event.
The President sent a letter to Pelosi Wednesday and cited Nielsen’s readiness. There is, Trump argued, “absolutely no problem regarding security with respect to the event.”
“Accordingly, there are no security concerns regarding the State of the Union Address,” Trump added. “Therefore, I will be honoring your invitation.”
“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!” he added.
Pelosi, though, wasn’t so thrilled with the President’s enthusiasm.
“This afternoon, I sent @realDonaldTrump a letter informing him that the House will not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing the President’s State of the Union address in the House Chamber until government has opened,” she Tweeted.
After news that Pelosi had told Trump he would not be allowed to speak, President Trump began exploring other options to his speech.
Meanwhile, the President and the Speaker are not communicating face-to-face. Their letters aside, they’ve not talked in two weeks. And Pelosi continues to challenge Trump’s vision of border security.
When told that Pelosi wouldn’t consider his compromise plans for reopening the government this week, Trump expressed his exasperation.
“I’m not surprised,” he told reporters. “It’s really a shame what’s happening with the Democrats. They’ve become radicalized, they don’t want to see crime stop, which we can very easily do on the southern border and it really is a shame what’s happening with the Democrats.”