Donald Trump was all prepared to give his Very Special Big Boy Wants Big Wall and Big Claps State of the Union address in the House chamber on January 29. But thanks to Nancy Pelosi, he’ll either have to cancel the speech or find a new venue. Perhaps the third circle of hell is available? Or an Olive Garden?
NPR reports that Pelosi will not permit Trump to use the House chamber for his State of the Union speech until the partial government shutdown is over. That shutdown, now entering its 34th day, is expected to cost the economy about $6 billion in damage by the end of the week, leaving thousands of federal workers furloughed and increasingly desperate for cash.
Though the Democrats have offered to cough up funds for increased border security in exchange for an end to the shutdown, Trump refuses to budge until his fancy big wall goes up, and so his big speech gets a time out.
Pelosi, who previously asked Trump to cancel the speech until the shutdown ends, sent Trump a strongly-worded letter on Wednesday:
Dear Mr. President:
When I extended an invitation on January 3rd for you to deliver the State of the Union address, it was on the mutually agreed upon date, January 29th. At that time, there was no thought that the government would still be shut down.
In my further correspondence of January 16th, I said we should work together to find a mutually agreeable date when government has re-opened and I hope that we can still do that.
I am writing to inform you that 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 opened.
Again, I look forward to welcoming you to the House on a mutually agreeable date for this address when government has been opened.
Trump seems very upset. “The State of the Union has been canceled by Nancy Pelosi because she doesn’t want to hear the truth,” he told reporters shortly after the Speaker’s letter went out. I’m not quite sure what “truth” he’s referring to, but if it’s anything like this, I don’t want to hear it either.