Republicans dismiss effort to delay State of the Union address
by Harvest Prude
Posted 1/17/19, 12:19 pm
WASHINGTON—Republicans pushed back against a suggestion by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that President Donald Trump postpone his State of the Union address, scheduled for Jan. 29, until the partial government shutdown ends. In a Wednesday letter, Pelosi said that the Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security could not provide adequate security for the event until the government reopened. But DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Wednesday that both agencies “are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union.”
Republican lawmakers accused Pelosi of playing politics. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., said the move proved Democrats were “only interested in obstructing … not governing.” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., suggested the president break with tradition and deliver the address from the Senate. Pelosi said Trump could also deliver his annual report to lawmakers in writing. Both the House and Senate must extend an official invitation to the president to deliver his address.
Some Democrats interpreted the move as political punishment for the president’s refusal to approve a budget that does not fund a wall at the U.S. southern border. Trump met Wednesday with a bipartisan group of lawmakers, but they did not reach a compromise to end the shutdown, now in its 27th day. The president also signed legislation to ensure backpay for the 800,000 federal employees currently furloughed or working without pay.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.