U.S. shutdown: Trump delays State of the Union address

Pelosi on Wednesday officially announced in a letter that she will not allow Trump to deliver his State of the Union address to Congress on January 29.

Indeed, at least some seemed unaware of rules specifying that both the House and Senate must pass a concurrent resolution formally inviting the president to address a joint session.

Trump denied Pelosi military transport for a trip overseas after she suggested he postpone the SOTU, citing "the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay", but First Lady Melania Trump reportedly used another military aircraft to fly to Florida just hours later for a weekend vacation. On Wednesday, Pelosi doubled down, saying the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives simply won't consider a resolution to authorize the president's State of the Union address if the government is closed.

Trump said he was planning a "really important speech" and called Pelosi's move a 'great blotch on the country that we all love'.

The spat about where the annual political set-piece will be staged is a sideshow to the struggle between the White House and Democrats in Congress over partial government shutdown now in its 33rd day. "This will go on for awhile. Ultimately, the American people will have their way, because they want to see no crime".

Fireworks over the speech shot back and forth between the Capitol and the White House as the month-long partial government shutdown showed no signs of ending and about 800,000 federal workers faced the prospect of going without their second paycheck in a row come Friday.

Pelosi's first letter, sent last week, suggests postponing the SOTU due to "security concerns" caused by the lack of funding for the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security during the government shutdown.

In early January, the House speaker, the third most powerful politician in the USA, had invited Mr Trump to address Congress on the agreed-upon date of the 29th.

Pelosi on January 16 asked Trump to consider postponing the speech because of the shutdown, which has left 800,000 federal workers on furlough or working without pay.

The president reportedly respects Pelosi, seeing her as a fighter who can match his counterpuncher approach.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a healthcare roundtable in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 23, 2019.

"Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address..." wrote Pelosi.

Instead, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program established by then-President Barack Obama in 2012 lives on with or without approval by Congress. Trump followed up by revoking her use of a military plane for a congressional delegation visit to Afghanistan.

According to press on Capitol Hill, Pelosi urged the Democrat Caucus to stay united and stick with their plan to resist the Trump administration during a private meeting Wednesday.

It comes after Mr Trump agreed to postpone his State of Union address despite battling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the speech yesterday.

He argued Pelosi was blocking him because she doesn't want to hear "the truth" about border security. "Even if he gives the address in another location or another fashion, the fact that the traditional stage is not part of the visual will be telling".

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