Nancy Pelosi has sent a letter to Trump demanding that Trump postpone the State of the Union address because of the partial government shutdown.

#TheResistance is thrilled.

Chris Cillizza of CNN called it “a major power move“:

Make no mistake: Pelosi’s decision to disinvite Trump from delivering his “State of the Union” address to Congress is a total power play designed to remind Trump that a) Congress is a co-equal branch of government and b) his willingness to keep the government shuttered until he gets money for a border wall is going to have impacts on him, too.

Just in case you missed that message, Pelosi delivered it again in an interview with CNN’s Ashley Killough. “This is a housekeeping matter in the Congress of the United States, so we can honor the responsibility of the invitation we extended to the President,” said Pelosi. “He can make it from the Oval Office if he wants.”

https://twitter.com/SpeakerPelosi/status/1085549944969285634

Here’s the text:

Dear Mr. President:

On January 3rd, it was my privilege as Speaker to invite you to deliver the State of the Union address on January 29th. The Constitution calls for the President to “from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union.” During the 19th Century and up until the presidency of Woodrow Wilson, these annual State of the Union messages were delivered to Congress in writing. And since the start of modern budgeting in Fiscal Year 1977, a State of the Union address has never been delivered during a government shutdown.

In September 2018, Secretary Nielsen designated State of the Union Addresses as National Special Security Events (NSSEs), recognizing the need for “the full resources of the Federal Government to be brought to bear” to ensure the security of these events. The extraordinary demands presented by NSSEs require weeks of detailed planning with dozens of agencies working together to prepare for the safety of all participants.

The U.S. Secret Service was designated as the lead federal agency responsible for coordinating, planning, exercising, and implementing security for National Special Security Events by Public Law 106-544, December 19, 2000. However, both the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security have not been funded for 26 days now — with critical departments hamstrung by furloughs.

Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

NANCY PELOSI

Speaker of the House

I say Trump should call her bluff. He doesn’t need her. The Constitution provides that the President:

“shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” Article II, Section 3, Clause 1.

It doesn’t say where or how it needs to be delivered to Congress.

Here are a couple of possibilities that come to mind.

  • Have Mitch McConnell invite Trump to the Senate chamber, where Republicans hold the majority. Bar Pelosi from entry.
  • Hold an event elsewhere attended by Angel Families, police officers, Border Patrol agents, and all the other people Democrats hate, and invite whoever from Congress wants to attend.

I’m sure there are some other possibilities that readers can suggest.

Pelosi stepped in it on this one.