House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday flatly rejected President Trump’s acceptance of her initial invitation to deliver his State of the Union address to Congress.
“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,” the speaker wrote as the brinkmanship between House Democrats and the White House continued to escalate.
She said she would welcome Trump to the House on a mutually agreed upon date once the partial government shutdown, now in its 33rd day, was over.
Trump later told reporters he wasn’t surprised.
“I’m not surprised. It’s really a shame what’s happening with the Democrats. They’ve become radicalized,” he told reporters.
Earlier Wednesday, Trump sent a letter to Pelosi accepting her initial invitation to deliver the State of the Union address — and dismissing her later request that he postpone it until after the government reopens.
Trump in his brief letter said he had been assured that there would be no security concerns if he delivered his speech at the Capitol on Jan. 29, as initially planned.
“Therefore, I will be honoring your invitation, and fulfilling my constitutional duty, to deliver important information to the people and to the Congress of the United States of America regarding the State of our Union,” Trump wrote.
“It would be so very sad for our Country if the State of the Union were not delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location!” he concluded.
Both the House and the Senate would need to vote on resolutions formally inviting Trump to give the address.
Pelosi had said in her second letter to Trump that he should postpone the speech, submit it in writing or deliver it from the Oval Office.