In what many see as her latest act of petulance, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has sent a letter to the White House essentially forbidding POTUS Donald Trump from using the House chamber to deliver the annual State of the Union Address.
“I am writing to inform you that the House of Representatives will not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing the President’s State of the Union address in the House Chamber until government has opened,” she wrote.
The letter rescinds her previous Jan. 3 written invitation to the president to give his SOTU speech in the House. In that letter, she invited the president to speak Jan. 29.
In today’s letter, Pelosi explained she made her invitation when “there was no thought that the government would still be shut down.”
Pelosi was responding to a letter the president had written just a few hours earlier in which he informed the Speaker he was told by the U.S. Secret Service that agents will have no problem securing the House chamber despite the shutdown, and that he was planning to deliver his address as originally scheduled.
Last week Pelosi said she was considering rescinding her Jan. 3 invitation over “security concerns,” which prompted a major backlash from Democrats and Republicans, as well as the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Secret Service.
“I look forward to seeing you on the evening on January 29th in the Chamber of the House of Representatives,” POTUS wrote. “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!”
Upon being informed that Pelosi had completely rescinded her initial invitation, the president said, “I’m not surprised. It’s really a shame what’s happening with the Democrats. They’ve become radicalized.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters Pelosi ought to allow Trump to deliver the address on the 29th in the House chamber as planned.
“I think the president should come and give a State of the Union,“ McCarthy said. “Now it’s more important than ever for the American public to hear, with everybody in the chamber. it’s a critical time he should come here and give the state of the union. He shouldn’t go anywhere else.”
Pelosi is the first Speaker since presidents began giving SOTU addresses in the age of TV to rescind an invitation to appear in the House.
As divided as Republicans and President Obama were on many issues, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his successor, Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), never found an excuse to deny him the opportunity to speak to the American people from the people’s House.
Never miss a story! Sign up for our daily email newsletter — Click here!