Government Shutdown Deal Coming? Trump Backs Down, But Unclear If He'll Deal

U.S. President Donald Trump kicked up dust Wednesday morning with a letter addressed to Pelosi, stating that he intends to "honor her invitation" to deliver the SOTU address on January 29 in the House of Representatives chamber before a joint session.

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he will deliver his annual address to the joint session of the US Congress as scheduled on January 29.

Nancy Pelosi made it clear that Donald Trump is not welcome into the House of Representatives to give his State of the Union speech until he ends the government shutdown.

Intitially, on Wednesday, local time, Trump released a letter to Pelosi in which he declared he would deliver his speech to the House of Representatives next Tuesday as planned.

Still, North Carolina's House Speaker Tim Moore wrote a letter inviting Trump to deliver the speech in the North Carolina House chamber.

He added that she "then changed her mind because of the shutdown, suggesting a later date".

A competing proposal by Senate Democrats that would open government through Feb 8 without funding Trump's wall, and leave room for border security negotiations, also failed to move forward by a similar tally.

The president wrote to Ms Pelosi: "Therefore, I will be honouring your invitation, and fulfilling my Constitutional duty to the people and Congress regarding the State of our Union".

Overall, 34 percent of Americans approve of Trump's job performance in a survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. He initially said in a letter that he would push ahead with the agenda-setting speech, but eventually agreed to wait until the government reopened after the speaker said he would not be able to deliver it in the House.

The longest government shutdown in USA history is guaranteed to continue at least a bit longer.

I would like to see Trump deliver the State of the Union before a cheering throng of 15,000 or 20,000 in an arena.

White House officials have been working on a backup plan to have Trump give the speech somewhere else if Democrats blocked access to the House chamber.

She expressed security concerns, noting the U.S. Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security are part of the one-quarter of the U.S. government remaining unfunded since late December.

In her initial request, Ms Pelosi cited concerns about security for the event, traditionally attended by both houses of Congress, most of the president's Cabinet, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the justices of the Supreme Court. "It's a great, great disgusting mark".

As Trump groused to reporters about Pelosi's decision, he repeatedly mischaracterized her position, asserting that she "cancelled" his address when she proposed to postpone it.

Earlier Thursday, Trump's billionaire Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross sparked a backlash by saying "I don't really quite understand why" federal workers were getting food from shelters.

Ms Pelosi, speaker since 3 January when Democrats took over majority control of the House, like many other senior lawmakers from both parties has clashed with Mr Trump.

The shutdown has now dragged on for over a month - making it the longest of its kind in U.S. history.

Pelosi responded on Twitter to Trump on Wednesday night by encouraging him to support an effort to end the shutdown.

Pelosi claimed that she extended the invitation before the shutdown and wanted to delay the speech after the gridlock.

Mercedes Schlapp, a White House spokeswoman, notably did not mention the wall when asked by NPR's Steve Inskeep on Morning Edition Thursday if the president could accept, for example, $5.7 billion for border security, but not for a wall. They were set to fly on a military aircraft to visit troops there. But he also pointed the finger and Pelosi and her caucus.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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