Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday she will block President Trump from delivering the State of the Union address in the House chamber until the government reopens, rejecting the president’s demand to deliver the speech on Jan. 29.
In a letter to Trump, Pelosi said she would not move forward with the legislative steps needed for the address to take place.
“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.
By refusing to schedule a vote on the resolution, Pelosi is preventing Congress from meeting in a joint session for the purpose of hearing Trump’s address.
The Speaker said she would invite the president to deliver his speech “on a mutually agreeable date” but only “when government has been opened.”
Pelosi’s move raises the stakes in her battle of wills with Trump over the annual address and the partial government shutdown, which was sparked by an impasse over funding for the president's border wall and has stretched into its 33rd day.
It comes just hours after Trump informed her in a letter that he would move ahead and deliver the address at the Capitol on the 29th, essentially daring the Speaker to scrap his plans.
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