It looks like President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address won’t happen next Tuesday, even though the government shutdown should be over by then.
Trump was initially scheduled to give his address on January 29, before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week rescinded his invitation to speak at the US House of Representatives. At a Friday press conference, she suggested the president still won’t get his original speaking slot when a reporter asked her if the address would “go on as planned.”
“The State of the Union is not planned now. Get that,” Pelosi told reporters on Tuesday, saying she and the president still need to talk about when it is happening.
“What I said to the president is when government is open, we will discuss a mutually agreeable date,” Pelosi said. “I’ll look forward to doing that and welcoming the president to the House of Representatives for the State of the Union when we agree on that mutually agreeable date.”
The State of the Union has become a flashpoint of its own in the past few weeks, as Pelosi and Trump fought over whether the president could deliver it in the middle of a shutdown. Pelosi initially sent a letter to Trump on January 16 saying that due to security concerns and unpaid Secret Service agents, she wanted to reschedule until after the shutdown had ended. That prompted Trump to later send his own letter, declaring he intended to give the speech regardless.
But as Vox’s Emily Stewart wrote, if Pelosi was adamantly opposed, it would be impossible for Trump to do: The House and Senate have to pass a concurrent resolution for there to be a joint session of Congress where the event would take place. If Pelosi said no, he would be out of a venue.
The State of the Union will happen at some point — but it probably won’t be Tuesday.