Nancy Pelosi faces a delicate decision, whether to rescind her invitation for Trump’s State of the Union speech later this month.
Such a move could deprive Trump of A gigantic megaphone to brag its wall of the border into the current budget impasse, but could also exacerbate tensions between power brokers and complicate bipartisan efforts put an end to the government’s longest closing.
By taking the jersey early in the year, Pelosi had invited Trump to deliver his speech on January 29 – an annual event, wrapped up in pageantry and tradition. ion, who chairs a huge platform to promote his agenda for the coming year.
The remarkable back-and-forth highlights the extent to which the debate over how to reopen the government — an impasse hinging on funding for Trump’s promised border wall — has deteriorated from a budget negotiation into a barroom brawl.
Although roughly three-quarters of the federal government has been funded through September, the remainder lost funding on Dec. 22 and has remained shuttered ever since. Trump has insisted that the outstanding spending bills include $5.7 billion for new construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border — a central promise of his 2016 campaign That provision is a non-starter with the Democrats, who have offered $1.3 billion for alternative border security measures, but won’t accept a dime for new border barriers.
Trump late Friday said he would be making an announcement on Saturday afternoon about the shutdown and the crisis on the southern border, a signal he may be warming once again to declaring a national emergency to end the shutdown and fund the wall. Declaring the emergency would allow Trump to fund the wall while circumventing Congress, though it would also invite lawsuits.
While the White House has not responded formally to Pelosi’s postponement request, top administration officials have sent signals that they’re forging ahead with the idea that the speech will proceed as scheduled.
Some Democrats, meanwhile, are warning that the way to confront Trump — a mercurial figure known for lashing out at his adversaries — is to avoid playing his game.
“I’m convinced that we’re not going to beat Donald Trump by trying to be Donald Trump,” Julian Castro, former housing secretary under President Obama who’s running for president in 2020, said Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Leaders of the Homeland Security Department and Secret Service — which have both been affected by the partial shutdown — asserted this week that they’ll have the resources to ensure the Capitol is secure during the high-profile address, even if parts of the government remain unfunded at the time.
Those pronouncements have undermined Pelosi’s initial justification for the delay request, which hinged on security concerns. More recently, she’s said she has full faith in the security agencies to protect the Capitol during the speech, but simply wants those personnel to be paid for their efforts.