President Donald Trump is trying to prepare for his annual State of the Union address on January 29th, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who also controls the House chamber is doing everything in her power to stop it, including not allowing White House officials to do a planned walkthrough.
Fox News first broke the story, reporting that the White House had written a letter to the sergeant-at-arms requesting another chance but ABC News is reporting that the White House has stated that although they do plan to proceed with an address to the nation outside of Washington, the formal State of the Union, will occur at some other point in the future.
Pelosi has cited a couple of reasons for wanting to delay the President’s address, including security concerns and the inability to PAY the security who would actually have to work such an event without pay during the government shutdown.
She said, of the address,
“The date of the State of the Union is not a sacred date, it’s not constitutionally required, it’s not the president’s birthday, it’s not anything. It is a date that we agreed to. It could’ve been a week later – and it could be the week later if government is open.”
Trump has stomped back at Pelosi by canceling the military charter that was supposed to be in place for a congressional trip abroad but Democrats planned to go ahead with the trip using commercial travel. The continued feud between Pelosi and Trump does suggest that the scheduled address for January 29th will NOT happen.
Ultimately, whether or not the SOTU can go on as scheduled is up to Ms. Pelosi, not Mr. Trump and he cannot take the floor until the House and the Senate have voted to convene in a joint session of Congress.