After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) requested in a January 16 letter to President Donald Trump that he reschedule his January 29 State of the Union for a later date, citing security concerns and the government shutdown, the President responded with a letter of his own.
After cancelling her planned congressional delegation abroad, he informed her he’d be making the address on the 29th anyway.
Trump says, "There are no security concerns regarding the State of the Union Address" and it will be held on Jan. 29, as originally scheduled. HOWEVER… it appears the White House has not made up it's mind regarding addressing Nancy Pelosi as Madam or Madame pic.twitter.com/fnMeznGS3w
— Shira Tarlo (@shiratarlo) January 23, 2019
Hours later, Pelosi responded with a clarification that the original suggestion was no longer a request.
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. https://t.co/r1oad0xEAh pic.twitter.com/kGEbayx95u
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 23, 2019
“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.”
As Speaker of the House, Pelosi has complete authority to disinvite the President from speaking on the House floor. She clarified, however, that the President was more than welcome to appear in front of Congress on a mutually agreeable date after the longest government shutdown in American history ends.
Pelosi had previously insisted that the Democrats would not give in to Trump’s demands for $5 billion to build a wall on the southern border, insisting that he would continue using government shutdown for political leverage in the future.
The President later responded:
NEW: President Trump responds to Speaker Nancy Pelosi not authorizing his State of the Union address in the House Chamber until the shutdown ends: "I'm not surprised. It's really a shame what's happening with the Democrats. They've become radicalized" https://t.co/APBKrpLaeI pic.twitter.com/FPsqL6iJvp
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) January 23, 2019
“I’m not surprised. 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 could very easily do on the southern border, and it really is a shame what’s happening with the Democrats.”
The President assured reporters that his administration would be responding to the letter in a timely manner.
While the President may think Pelosi’s move is a “shame,” Americans on Twitter have been applauding it.
Thank you ma'am.
— Ginger I like to purl McSillyPants (@Caam91) January 23, 2019
You are a powerful example of many to stand up to bullies, thank you Speaker Pelosi!
— Blake H. (@BlakeHardeman) January 23, 2019
Thank you Speaker Pelosi. Denying Trump a microphone for his propaganda while federal workers are denied paychecks is the kind of brilliant leadership we need.
— Anonymous White House Official (@littledeekay) January 23, 2019
We love ❤️ you leader Pelosi
— Faryaadd (@Faryaadd) January 23, 2019
They’re also giving her a firm instruction.
Americans are warning her not to back down.
Do not give one inch on anything. We must take our nation back.
— Andrew J. Sacks (@AndrewSacks13) January 23, 2019
Speaker Pelosi, stand your ground! Stand OUR ground!
You absolutely must not allow shutting down the government to become an acceptable method for presidents to dictate policy in our democracy.
— Mary K. Gayne (@marykgayne) January 23, 2019
Hold him to "I'm glad to own it", "I won't blame you or the Democrats" shutdown. We will not give a ransom payment to the hostage taker in the oval. We support our Speaker of the House.
— JustAnotherResister (@mhmhart) January 23, 2019
Their reactions to Trump’s response are decidedly colder.
— Mom (@IM4NY) January 23, 2019
No, you are a dictator-want-to-be. Welcome to your co-equal branch
Now open the damn government
Pass HR1, the same bill that the senate passed a month ago. The same bill the house passed a couple weeks ago & that #WheresMitch McConnell refuses to hold a vote on
— tracy 💫 Elizabeth Warren 2020 (@TracyAnnPhilips) January 23, 2019
By radicalized does he mean united against his incompetence and corruption. I guess he’s right
— Jacqui (@jackgo2) January 23, 2019
Pelosi’s latest letter puts even more pressure on Trump to reopen the government and end the shutdown he said he’d be “proud” to enact.