House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday afternoon at a press conference that she would not commit to scheduling the State of the Union speech in the House Chamber for President Donald Trump until after the government is reopened.
Appearing alongside Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to discuss the deal struck with Trump to reopen the federal government after the longest shutdown in history–a deal that does not include a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico as Trump wants–Pelosi was asked if the State of the Union will happen on this coming Tuesday, as it was originally going to before a dustup with Trump over the shutdown.
Pelosi said she would not schedule the speech in the House chamber until discussing “mutually agreeable date” with Trump after the government is officially reopened:
Pelosi indicates the State of the Union is not happening Tuesday.
She says, once government is reopen, they’ll discuss a mutually agreeable date.
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) January 25, 2019
Asked if the State of th Union will go on as planned, Pelosi says “well the State of the Union is not planned now.”
Pelosi says she will work with the White House on a mutually agreeable date
— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) January 25, 2019
Will the State of the Union now happen as originally planned?
"The State of the Union is not planned now," Speaker Pelosi says. "What I said to the president is when government is opened, we will discuss a mutually agreeable date. And I'll look forward to doing that." pic.twitter.com/Et38ZKB0WP
— ABC News (@ABC) January 25, 2019
At the beginning of the year, after she was elected Speaker of the House by the newly installed Democrat majority in the House, Pelosi invited Trump to give the State of the Union on Jan. 29–this coming Tuesday. Trump initially accepted, but then as the shutdown dragged on, Pelosi–citing unfounded security concerns that were rebuffed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Secret Service–wrote Trump a letter suggesting withdrawing her invitation.
Trump then considered moving forward anyway with a State of the Union, but doing it somewhere other than the House chamber, and then wrote Pelosi a letter saying that he intended to move forward with the Jan. 29 date in the House as was originally agreed at a time when the government was shut down. But, then, Trump backed down and said he would agree to a later date after the government reopened and the shutdown was over.
But, now that the government is reopening on Friday, more than a month into the shutdown–and the Friday before the originally scheduled date for the State of the Union–Pelosi is not agreeing to give Trump the platform of the House chamber to deliver the speech next week. It remains to be seen if she will let him give the speech on Jan. 29, or if she will make him wait until a later date.