Trump delays State of the Union speech during US government shutdown

Trump will delay addressing the US until the government shutdown is over.

Trump before State of the Union Source: Bloomberg

Republican US President, Donald Trump, has compromised with Democratic US Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. He will delay giving the annual State of the Union address until there is a resolution to the US government shutdown.

How is the State of the Union related to the US government shutdown?

The State of the Union is delivered by the US president every January in front of the US Congress. The House of Representatives has to invite the president and authorise Trump’s speech. Amid the US government shutdown over funding for a US-Mexico border wall, Pelosi noted in a letter to Trump that the speech should be postponed until the impasse is resolved.

‘The House of Representatives will not consider a concurrent resolution authorising the president's State of the Union address in the House chamber until government has opened,’ wrote Pelosi.

At first, Trump refused to delay his speech. Now he’s relented and will deliver the State of the Union address once the government is functioning again. The president claimed in a tweet that Pelosi asked him to give the speech, then changed her mind for partisan reasons.

‘As the Shutdown was going on, [Speaker] Nancy Pelosi asked me to give the State of the Union Address. I agreed. She then changed her mind because of the Shutdown, suggesting a later date. This is her prerogative - I will do the Address when the Shutdown is over,’ tweeted Trump.

Pelosi claimed that she extended the invitation before the shutdown and wanted to delay the speech after the gridlock. She said that there wouldn’t be enough security during the State of the Union because of the government shutdown.

She answered the president’s recent announcement by imploring him to pass a bill to end the government stoppage.

‘Please accept this proposal so we can re-open government, repay our federal workers and then negotiate our differences,’ said Pelosi.

What’s next for the US government shutdown?

The Senate is voting for two bills to try to end the government gridlock. The shutdown is not only affecting furloughed federal workers but is contributing to volatility on Wall Street as well. If neither bill passes, Trump and Pelosi will continue their political battle with 800,000 government employees caught in the middle. The State of the Union may be another US institution that is compromised by the political impasse.

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