The White House is moving forward with plans for President Donald Trump to deliver his State of the Union speech next week in front of a joint session of Congress - despite a letter from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi requesting he delay it.
"[There] is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber", the president tweeted.
Pelosi had asked Trump to delay the speech until after the shutdown, but the White House tried to ignore the request, announcing Trump would move forward with the January 29 date. A resolution agreed to by both chambers specifies the date and time of a joint session of the House and the Senate for receiving an address from the president.
The original security check was canceled last week after Pelosi sent a letter to Trump suggesting that he reschedule his State of the Union address, or submit it in writing because of security concerns resulting from the government shutdown.
An intensifying war of words between the president and Pelosi came to a head Wednesday with the top Democrat effectively blocking Trump from delivering his annual address in Congress until the partial government shutdown, now in its 34th day, is brought to an end.
"You heard from the [FBI agents] association because of the shutdown that they had no funds to pay for investigation and prosecution of cases including child exploitation, cyber warfare", she said. "The president doesn't understand that it's Nancy Pelosi holding the invites, she's holding the dance card". But the White House maintains Pelosi never formally rescinded her invitation, and is, in essence, calling her bluff.
The California Democrat told Trump in a letter Wednesday the Democratic-controlled House won't pass the required measure for him to give the nationally televised speech from the House floor.
Pelosi's moves have left the White House scrambling to devise an alternative plan for the speech, which is one of the president's top opportunities to lay out his agenda to the public.
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va)., when ask by Fox News' Neil Cavuto on Wednesday about Pelosi's letter, responded, "I'm going to leave that to those folks on that tit for tat". Trump blusters, Pelosi calls his bluffs.
Republican officials are closely watching to see if Pelosi officially rescinds the invite, which was delivered to the White House on January 4. Even prior to asking, I was contacted by the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Secret Service to explain that there would be absolutely no problem regarding security with respect to the event. President Trump offered Democrats another deal on Saturday.
The move is the latest in a game of brinkmanship between Trump and the House speaker as they remain locked in an increasingly personal standoff over Trump's demand for border wall money that has forced a partial government shutdown that is now in its second month.
"The House of Representatives should override Speaker Pelosi's obstruction and vote to allow the President's State of the Union to go on as planned".