Trump, Pelosi clash over State of the Union Address

Washington: US President Donald Trump and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi exchanged barbs and letters after she barred him from speaking in the House of Representatives until the partial government shutdown ends.

The traditional State of the Union Address by the president in a joint session of the US Congress is done at the invitation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, a powerful position that is currently being occupied by Pelosi.

Pelosi on Wednesday told Trump that there would be no State of the Union Address as she had earlier scheduled on January 29 and insisted that the annual address of the president cannot happen till the time the partial government shutdown continues.

The government shutdown now into its 34th day is because of the sharp differences between Trump and the opposition Democrats over constructing a wall along the US-Mexico border to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country.

Democrats, led by Pelosi, have said they will not let the Congress pass any legislation that has funding provision for the wall. Trump is seeking USD 5.6 billion for the wall.

“I am writing to inform you that 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,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to Trump, hours after she received a letter from the president that he has accepted her earlier invitation for State of the Union Address and as such he would be showing up at the US Congress next Tuesday, January 29.

“I look forward to seeing you on the evening of January 29th in the Chamber of House of Representatives. It would be so very sad for our country if the State of the Union were not delivered on time, in schedule and very importantly, on location!” Trump said in his letter to Pelosi.

Soon, thereafter, the House speaker made it clear that the President is not welcome at the Congress on January 29.

After receiving the letter from Pelosi, Trump said he would soon announce his next course of action. “We’ll see. We’ll see. Well, it wouldn’t be very hard, but that’s not what she means,” he said.

“We will have a response to Nancy Pelosi in due course. But what she’s doing to the American people, what she is doing to our Constitution, is a disgrace,” he rued.

“And it’s very sad. I think it’s a very, very bad thing for our country, and it’s a horrible precedent. And we have many positive things to say, but we also have things that we want to turn into positives that are big negatives,” Trump said.

Ruling out any change in his position on the wall, Trump said that it was “too bad” what Pelosi has done.

“It’s radical Democrats. They’ve become a radicalised party. They really have. They have become a radicalised party. I actually think they’ve become a very dangerous party for this country. If you listen to what they’re saying, what they’re doing, I think they’ve become a very very dangerous party for this country,” he asserted.

Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, sadly, is dominated by the radical left, and by Pelosi, he alleged. “He can’t move; he’s a puppet. He’s a puppet for Nancy Pelosi, if you can believe that. But that’s what’s become and that’s what’s happening,” Trump said.

“We are not going to let it happen to our nation, and we are not going to allow the radical left to control our borders. Because if they do, you will see crime; you will see drugs; you will see human trafficking like you have never seen ever in the history of our country. You will never see anything like what you would see. So we will never let the radical left control our borders,” he said.

In a separate meeting with the press, Trump alleged the State of the Union speech has been cancelled by Pelosi because she doesn’t want to hear the truth.

“She doesn’t want the American public to hear what’s going on. And she’s afraid of the truth. And the super-left Democrats, the radical Democrats, what’s going on in that party is shocking. I know many people that were Democrats and they’re switching over right now, they’re switching over quickly. So I hope they know what they’re doing for their party. So far they haven’t,” he said.