Washington: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is officially postponing President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address until the government is fully reopened.
The California Democrat told Trump in a letter Wednesday the Democratic-controlled House won’t pass the required measure for him to give the nationally televised speech from the House floor.
Pelosi acted just hours after Trump notified her that he was planning to deliver the speech next Tuesday in line with her original invitation.
Pelosi’s moves have left the White House scrambling to devise an alternative plan for the speech, which is one of the president’s top opportunities to lay out his agenda to the public.
Pelosi said “I look forward to welcoming you to the House on a mutually agreeable date for this address when government has been opened.”
President Donald Trump says he is not surprised about the postponement.
Trump was asked about Pelosi’s action during a health care event at the White House and said Democrats have become “radicalized” and “don’t want to see crime stopped, which we could very easily do on the southern border.”
The stalemate over funding a U.S.-Mexico border wall has produced the longest partial government shutdown in U.S. history.
The president said: “This will go on for a while. Ultimately the American people will have their way because they want to see no crime.”
The move is the latest in a game of brinkmanship between Trump and the House speaker as they remain locked in an increasingly personal standoff over Trump’s demand for border wall money that has forced a partial government shutdown that is now in its second month.
The president cannot speak in front of a joint session of Congress without both chambers’ explicit permission.