The partial government shutdown has been going on for more than a month now. With negotiations looking no closer to actually reaching a satisfying conclusion, House Democrats are losing patience with President Donald Trump, who triggered the shutdown when they refused to offer up the $5 billion he was demanding for his long-promised wall along the country’s southern border.
So much so, in fact, that on Wednesday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi officially uninvited the president from giving his State of the Union address from the usual venue of the House Chamber. According to CNN, the speaker’s adamant refusal came as a complete surprise to the White House, and has left them scrambling to find an alternative.
Last week it was hinted that Pelosi didn’t want the president delivering the speech in the House Chamber, but the message at the time was that she only wanted him to postpone the speech until the shutdown had ended and federal employees who have been furloughed or working without pay are able to resume normal operations.
However, on Wednesday, the White House decided to call Pelosi’s bluff, forcing her hand to send an official un-invitation to the president.
“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 reopened.”
The result is that the White House is now left with no venue for the president to deliver his address from, and a number of unsatisfactory replacement options have already been pretty much rejected.
White House officials were caught off guard by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formally disinviting US President Trump from giving his State of the Union address from the House chamber, leaving them scrambling for a response https://t.co/AOPGLssYN2 pic.twitter.com/5fbU0XQ0EF
— CNN International (@cnni) January 24, 2019
One of those options was hosting a “campaign-style rally,” but officials are very wary of this last resort for a number of reasons. Chief among them is the president’s penchant for going off-book when he speaks at a rally, and spending time rambling on completely irrelevant topics. Another concern is that most major networks have grown tired of airing Trump’s rallies, with most only showing brief snippets these days.
A rally is also not the formal occasion demanded by such an important event as the State of the Union address, according to officials. The speech the president is set to deliver when he makes the address would be “much more tamped down than the President’s usual rhetoric at a rally.”
Other options include having the president deliver his speech from somewhere inside the White House, with options including having him do it from behind his desk in the Oval Office. That idea is not a popular one with Trump, however, who cited his last address delivered from there on January 9 about the continued shutdown as the reason.
With no other real options, it seems likely that Trump will be forced to deliver his State of the Union address from somewhere within the president’s residence.
Last week, after Pelosi requested a later date be selected for after government was reopened, the president expressed his desire to speak from the traditional venue. Despite what is likely a seething mass of angry disappointment at Pelosi’s decision, Trump declared that he was “not surprised” by her letter, according to a previous report by the Inquisitr.