The White House made a move that indicated they might ignore House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s request to cancel President Donald Trump’s in-person delivery of the State of the Union address.
The Hill reported that the White House requested Congress conduct a walk-through of the president’s address, which is considered a sign that he might still deliver it.
Trump administration staff delivered a letter to the House Sergeant-at-arms which asked to schedule a run-through of the annual speech.
Preparations for the annual Presidential speech gained attention after the house speaker sent a letter to the president, asking him to re-schedule the traditional end of January address.
In her letter, Pelosi stated that “a State of the Union address has never been delivered during a government shutdown.”
The speaker went on to say that, “in September 2018, Secretary Nielsen designated States of the Union Addresses as National Special Security Events.”
“The extraordinary demands presented by NSSE’s require weeks of detailed planning with dozens of agencies working together to prepare for the safety of all participants.”
According to Pelosi “both the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security have not been funded for 26 days now – with critical departments hamstrung by furloughs.”
“Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after the government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th.”
Shortly after Pelosi’s letter to the White House, President Donald Trump sent his own letter to, “The Honorable Nancy Pelosi.”
“Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed. We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over.
“In Light of the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay, I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate. I also feel that, during this period, it would be better if you were in Washington negotiating with me and joining the Strong Border Security movement to end the Shutdown.
“Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative.
“I look forward to seeing you soon and even more forward to watching your open and dangerous southern border finally receive the attention, funding and security it so desperately deserves!”
The letter was signed by the president and dated January 17, 2019.
— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) January 17, 2019