Pelosi Calls on Trump to Postpone State of the Union Address Until After Shutdown

If there’s one thing the president craves, it’s a national television audience.

Tom Williams/ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday called on President Donald Trump to postpone his State of the Union address, originally scheduled for January 29, until after the government has reopened, or submit his remarks in writing.

“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 or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th,” Pelosi wrote in the letter.

The move effectively cancels Trump’s address.

The letter comes more than three weeks into a partial government shutdown that has left nearly 800,000 federal workers furloughed or working without pay, as Trump continues to demand $5 billion to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. This past Friday marked the first time federal workers missed their scheduled paychecks, an increasingly precarious situation that has left many searching for part-time jobs in order to pay bills on time. Others have begun digging into life savings.

Later on Wednesday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen appeared to push back on Pelosi’s recommendation, tweeting that the Department of Homeland Security and Secret Service were “fully prepared” to deal with security measures for the State of the Union.

You can read Pelosi’s letter in full below:

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest