Trump concedes to Nancy Pelosi, agrees to postpone State of the Union speech until the shutdown ends

  • President Donald Trump will not give his State of the Union address during the government shutdown, he announced on Twitter Wednesday night.
  • This concession ends a weekslong scuffle between Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who earlier on Wednesday denied Trump use of the House of Representatives chamber to deliver his speech.
  • “I am not looking for an alternative venue for the SOTU address because there is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber,” he wrote. “I look forward to giving a ‘great’ State of the Union Address in the near future!”

President Donald Trump will not give his State of the Union address during the government shutdown, he announced on Twitter Wednesday night.

This concession ends a weekslong scuffle between Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who earlier on Wednesday denied Trump use of the House of Representatives chamber to deliver his speech.

“As the Shutdown was going on, [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi asked me to give the State of the Union Address,” Trump tweeted. “I agreed. She then changed her mind because of the Shutdown [sic], suggesting a later date. This is her prerogative – I will do the Address when the Shutdown is over [sic].”

“I am not looking for an alternative venue for the SOTU Address [sic] because there is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber,” he continued. “I look forward to giving a ‘great’ State of the Union Address in the near future!”

Pelosi responded in a Tweet of her own.

“Mr. President, I hope by saying ‘near future’ you mean you will support the House-passed package to #EndTheShutdown that the Senate will vote on tomorrow,” Pelosi wrote on Twitter. “Please accept this proposal so we can re-open government, repay our federal workers and then negotiate our differences.”

On January 3, Pelosi invited Trump to deliver the State of the Union Address. However on January 16, she sent the president a letter asking him to postpone the address to the nation citing security concerns during the partial government shutdown.

Shortly after, Trump denied Pelosi use of a military plane for a trip to visit troops overseas, which was interpreted as retaliation to Pelosi’s letter asking him to postpone his address.

The spat between Trump and Pelosi continued into this week. In a letter dated January 23, Trump responded saying that the Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security had “no problem” with security.

“It would be so very sad for our Country [sic] if the State of the Union were not delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location!” the letter stated.

Pelosi, however, sent her own letter saying that the House “will not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing the President’s State of the Union address in the House Chamber until the government has opened.”

The backdrop to this tit for tat between the House Speaker and the President of the United States is a partial government shutdown – the longest in history – which on Wednesday was in its 33rd day. The crux of the shutdown is $US5.7 billion in funds Trump’s proposed wall along the US-Mexico border. Trump has said he will not sign a bill to fund the government until the wall is funded, and Democrats have pushed back saying they will not fund the wall.

There are currently two bills in the Senate aimed at opening the government – one from the Democrats, the other modelled after the president’s proposed compromise – neither is expected to get the 60 votes needed to pass.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.