House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not want President Trump to give his State of the Union speech at the end of the month. This makes sense for anyone who has been paying attention to the news over the past couple of weeks as Pelosi and Trump have opposing views of the immigration crisis and have feuded over the border wall—two issues Trump is sure to bring up during the speech.
In a letter addressed to President Trump, Pelosi requested he delay the speech until the federal government reopens or to submit the speech in writing to members of Congress as she claimed the Department of Homeland Security did not have enough funds to adequately protect him during the speech.
“A State of the Union address has never been delivered during a government shutdown,” Pelosi said in the letter, via the Daily Caller. “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.”
As the Daily Caller also reports, the reason Pelosi gave was refuted by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
According to Nielsen, her department is “fully prepared” to handle the security needs of the president.
“The Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union,” Nielsen said in a tweet. “We thank the Service for their mission focus and dedication and for all they do each day to secure our homeland.”
Per the Daily Caller report, Pelosi said she doesn’t care what the Department of Homeland Security thinks, she still wants the speech canceled:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Wednesday night she “doesn’t care” if the Secret Service said it was prepared to appropriately secure the State of the Union address despite the partial government shutdown.
Instead, she stood firm in her resolve to delay the January 29 event until the government completely re-opens.
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn agreed with Pelosi, telling The Daily Caller, “I just happen to be reading about Woodrow Wilson’s 1913 address and it is the first time since eighteen hundred that it was delivered in person. So there’s ample precedent for the State of the Union to be delivered in writing.”
House Republican leadership hit back at Speaker Pelosi with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy saying her comments were “unbecoming of the office” and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise saying “there are no security concerns.”
“I think Speaker Pelosi is playing politics like I’ve never seen a speaker before,” McCarthy said to the Washington Examiner. “I think it’s unbecoming of the office to disinvite the president. The American people have the right to be able to hear the president and the president has a right to deliver a state of the union.”
“It’s not a security issue,” the Minority Leader added. “It’s pure politics.”
“There are no security concerns that have been raised and that has nothing to do with that,” Scalise said via the Daily Caller. “Ironically, it seems like she’s only concerned about security when it’s a State of the Union that will expose what this fight is all about.”