On January 3, Nancy Pelosi sent a customary letter to the president inviting him to deliver the State of the Union address in the House Chamber. But on January 16th, with the government shut down for a record-setting period of time, she wrote again, asking him to consider another date or to deliver his address in writing.
And Wednesday, in the tensest exchange of business communication since that time I wrote “per my earlier email," Trump responded with his own letter, writing that he still planned to deliver his speech.
“It would be so very sad for our Country if the State of the Union were not delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location!” he wrote (even though the Constitution does not actually call for a specific time, place, or medium in which the State of the Union must be delivered).
NPD wasn't having it and things got terse! The Speaker fired back with her own letter telling Trump, “that the House of Representatives will not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing the President’s State of the Union address in the House Chamber until government has opened.”
Trump seems to have forgotten that when Pelosi says he can’t give his speech in her house, she literally means her house. As Speaker, Pelosi controls what happens — and who gets to speak — on the House floor.
The tension over where and when the President will deliver the State of the Union comes as the dispute over funding for a proposed border wall has shut the government down, leaving many federal employees without pay for the last month.
Read the letters below.
This afternoon, I sent @realDonaldTrump a letter informing him that the House will not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing the President’s State of the Union address in the House Chamber until government has opened. https://t.co/r1oad0xEAh pic.twitter.com/kGEbayx95u— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 23, 2019