House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced Wednesday she will block President Donald Trump from delivering the State of the Union address in the House chamber until the government reopens, The Hill reports.
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, according to The Hill.
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 letter followed a letter sent by Trump to the House Speaker, in which he informed her that he would move ahead and deliver the address at the Capitol on January 29, essentially daring the Speaker to scrap his plans.
“Nancy Pelosi — or Nancy, as I call her — she doesn’t want to hear the truth,” Trump told reporters at the White House, calling Pelosi’s decision “a great, great horrible mark” for the country.
“I don’t believe it’s ever happened before. And it’s always good to be a part of history but this is a very negative part of history,” he said.
Trump added he may deliver the speech at a different venue, saying “we’ll do something in the alternative.” He provided no details about his plans.
Trump and the Democrats, headed by Pelosi, have continued to spar over the ongoing government shutdown.
Last week, Pelosi warned she may postpone Trump’s State of the Union address due to the shutdown. In response, Trump postponed a congressional delegation trip that was planned by Pelosi, telling her the trip was a “public relations event.”
The government shutdown is due to the disagreements between Trump and the Democrats over the funding for the wall Trump wished to build on the border with Mexico.
Last Saturday, Trump offered the Democrats a compromise in an attempt to solve the dispute over the border wall. The President announced he was prepared to back a three-year extension of protections for 700,000 immigrants who came to the country illegally as children and were shielded from deportation under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This would be in exchange for the $5.7 billion he has requested for a barrier on the southern border with Mexico.
However, Democrats were quick to reject the proposal, with Pelosi declaring it to be a “non-starter”.