After days of speculation regarding the president’s annual State of the Union address, a will-he-or-won’t-he situation that continued into the early hours of today, President Donald Trump has stated that he will not deliver the speech until the end of the ongoing government shutdown, the Hill reported.
The announcement came in a series of late-night tweets from the president on Wednesday, January 23, and just hours after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sent him a letter in which she said she would decline the necessary steps to allow the address to be given on the agreed upon date of next Tuesday, January 29.
“As the Shutdown was going on, Nancy Pelosi asked me to give the State of the Union Address. I agreed. She then changed her mind because of the Shutdown, suggesting a later date. This is her prerogative – I will do the Address when the Shutdown is over,” the president wrote in his first of two tweets addressing the situation.
A previous report from the New York Times suggested that the president was considering alternative locations to deliver the speech from; however, Trump said in his late-night social media posts that he would not be doing so, as there is “no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber.”
“I look forward to giving a ‘great’ State of the Union Address in the near future!” he concluded the announcement.
BREAKING: After standoff with Pelosi, Trump says he will give State of the Union 'when the Shutdown is over'— The Associated Press (@AP) January 24, 2019
Trump’s decision to postpone the annual message to Congress comes after a few weeks of its fate being up in the air.
On January 16, Speaker Pelosi sent a letter to the president suggesting he choose a later date for the address, citing security concerns due to the ongoing government shutdown.
President Trump responded to her earlier today with a letter expressing that he intended to move forward with the SOTU on the scheduled date, noting that it had been confirmed that there were no security concerns surrounding the event.
President Trump’s letter to Speaker Pelosi on the State of the Union pic.twitter.com/B4QN9hDJnv— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 23, 2019
The standoff did not end there, however, as Nancy Pelosi quickly responded with another letter in which she stated she would refuse the president entry into the House chamber next Tuesday to deliver the speech, as previously reported by the Inquisitr.
“I look forward to welcoming you to the House on a mutually agreeable date for this address when government has been opened,” she concluded the letter.
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
The government shutdown is now on day 34 with no indication of an end and therefore meaning there is no telling as to when the president will be delivering the State of the Union address.