U.S. Senate to vote on competing plans to end government shutdown
President Donald Trump said he plans to deliver the State of the Union address at the House chamber as scheduled on Tuesday.
Trump announced his plan in a letter Wednesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who last week suggested Trump consider delaying the speech if the shutdown continued. She had cited security concerns because Secret Service agents and Department of Homeland Security staff aren’t being paid during the shutdown.
“It would be so very sad for our Country if the State of the Union were not delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location!,” Trump wrote in the letter. Trump said he had been advised by the Secret Service and DHS that they have “no security concerns” about the address.
Trump denied Pelosi a military plane for an unannounced trip to visit U.S. troops in Afghanistan a day after she suggested a delay in the speech. The tit-for-tat worsened their relationship and added to the difficulty of finding a resolution to the partial government shutdown that began on Dec. 22.
Both the Democratic-controlled House and the Republican-controlled Senate must pass a joint resolution to allow Trump to deliver the speech to a joint session of Congress. The resolution is usually a routine formality taken shortly before the event.
House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving said staff at the Capitol are on “stand-by” for preparations. “Waiting for the front office,” he told reporters shortly after Trump sent the letter, referring to Pelosi’s office.