Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has stood firm against the President Donald Trump; informing him that he would not deliver his State of the Union in the House until Government was re-opened.
The annual address to the joint-sitting of Congress was due to be held next Tuesday but the longest government shutdown in the country’s history has Pelosi and Trump clash over funding for a proposed border wall using whatever leverage at their disposal to win both political and legislative arguments.
The latest iteration of this spat was a letter from the president to the speaker saying he would honour an initial invite from Pelosi on January 3rd to address Congress on January 29th.
The Democrat had sent a separate letter to the president on January 16th regarding security concerns for the State of the Union due the government shutdown, urging them to mutually agree on a date once government was reopened.
Trump’s letter on Wednesday said security would not be a problem and that he would honour the initial invitation.
This prompted the speaker for fire off a third letter informing the president that she would not consider a concurrent resolution authorising State of the Union address in the Chamber until the government was reopened.
“I’m not surprised. It’s really a shame what’s happening with the Democrats, they’ve become radicalised. They don’t want to see crime stopped which we can very easily do on the southern border and it really is a shame what’s happening with Democrats. This will go on for a while, ultimately the American people will have to have their way because they wanna see no crime, they wanna see what we’re doing, like today we lowered prescription drug prices for the first time in 50 years; they wanna see that. The Democrats would have been able to do that so we’re all working very hard, we’ll have to respond to it. We’ll respond to it in a timely manner,” says Pelosi.
Some 800 000 federal employees and tens of thousands of contractors have been affected by the shutdown.
A number of Senate and House bills have been proposed for votes over the coming days to reopen government.
However, without funding for the wall, President Trump has vowed to veto any incoming legislation.
While the shutdown provides the backdrop for political machinations of the day, the tit-for-tat nature of the spat between the most powerful man and the most powerful woman in American politics is not lost on anyone.
Listen to the full package below: