President Trump and Nancy Pelosi have gone through a lot of government stationary hashing out the details of the State of the Union address. The latest — and hopefully last — piece of correspondence came from the desk of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who on Monday invited the president to deliver the annual address in the House Chamber next Tuesday, February 5th, citing “our conversation today.”
JUST IN: Speaker Pelosi invites President Trump to give State of the Union address in House Chamber on Feb. 5. pic.twitter.com/7Ctk043TRR
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 28, 2019
The State of the Union was originally scheduled to take place in the House Chamber on Tuesday, January 29th, but on January 16th Pelosi essentially uninvited Trump from delivering the address, citing the partial government shutdown. “Sadly, given the security concerns and unless the 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 in writing to the Congress on January 29th,” she wrote.
A day later, Trump responded with a letter of his own canceling a congressional delegation Pelosi had been scheduled to lead through Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan. “I’m sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate,” he wrote. “I also feel that, during this period, it would be better if you were in Washington negotiating with me and joining the Strong Border Security movement to end the Shutdown.”
The following week, Trump wrote another letter to Pelosi, this one to inform the House Speaker that despite her objection, he planned on delivering the State of the Union from the House Chamber as had been previously scheduled. Unfortunately for the president, it wasn’t his decision to make. In order for the State of the Union to take place, Congress must agree to hold a joint session, which means it’s up to Pelosi. She broke the bad news later the same day. “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,” she wrote. Trump relented a few hours later. “I will do the Address when the Shutdown is over,” he tweeted. “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. I look forward to giving a “great” State of the Union Address in the near future!”
When Trump signed a continuing resolution to re-open the government last Friday, it cleared the way for the address to be rescheduled. Trump can save the rest of his stationary for “love letters” to Kim Jong-un.