House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stands at the fork in the road in her decision on President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech later this month.
The two have had a contentious back and forth over funding for a wall along the southern U.S. border which has precipitated a partial government shutdown now in its fourth week. The Hill‘s congressional reporter Mike Lillis believes Pelosi is now facing “a delicate decision.”
The California Democrat asked Trump in a letter this week to delay his State of the Union address until the government fully re-opens. Without directly responding, Trump fired off a letter of his own shortly before Pelosi and a congressional delegation were set to depart on a foreign trip, informing her that the “excursion” was being “postponed” due to the same shutdown she cited.
Pelosi fired back that the White House had compromised their safety by leaking news of their travel plans, a claim the administration rebuked as a “flat out lie.”
The House speaker told reporters on Friday that the president had not been disinvited to the State of the Union address as she was looking for an alternative.
“He’s been invited,” she told reporters in the Capitol. “All we said is, ‘Let’s work together for another date when government is open.’ ”
But with the latest in the political tug of war, Pelosi must consider her next move as far as Trump’s address, even as some have suggested he deliver his speech at the Senate instead, breaking with historical precedent.
“What happens next — or who takes the next step — is anyone’s guess,” Lillis wrote in The Hill.
“Such a move could deny Trump a huge megaphone to tout his border wall amid the ongoing budget impasse,” he wrote of the possibility that Pelosi would rescind the invitation to Trump, which would “inflame tensions between the sniping power brokers and complicate bipartisan efforts to end the longest government closure in the nation’s history.”
The president, who said in a tweet on Friday that he would make a “major” announcement on the partial government shutdown and border security on Saturday, accused Pelosi of being controlled by the far-left.
“She’s being controlled by the radical left, which is a problem, and you know she’s under total control of the radical left. I think that’s a very bad thing for her and I think it’s a very bad thing for the Democrats,” he said Saturday on his way to Dover Air Force base to meet with the families of soldiers killed in Syria.
In another op-ed published by The Hill, Red Jahncke proposed a sound solution; let the Senate host the event:
Pelosi may think she has outfoxed Trump, since the president traditionally delivers his SOTU address in Congress, in response to resolutions passed by each chamber. Surely, the Senate could invite the president to deliver an address in its chamber at any time for any reason. It might not be called the SOTU, but a rose by any other name would smell the same.
This seems like a great way to remind Pelosi, once again, that all her scheming is no match for a master. What do you think?
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