Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Wednesday, asking him to postpone his State of the Union address until the government is re-opened.
According to Pelosi, the partial government shutdown has caused the needed security details to be hampered in what would typically be a meticulously planned event in need of extensive security.
In her letter, Pelosi stated that “since the start of modern budgeting in Fiscal Year 1977, a State of the Union address has never been delivered during a government shutdown.”
The current shutdown has now garnered the distinction of the longest shutdown in United States history, and one that has shown no signs of ending in the near future.
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.”
Pelosi went on to say that the Secret Service was the designated lead agency for coordination and Security, “However, 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.”
The president and speaker have been at odds since the issue of funding for a border wall became a sticking point in passing a new budget for the federal government.
Trump has insisted on $5 billion for what he calls a “humanitarian crisis” at the border with Mexico. Pelosi has offered him one dollar.