House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has officially postponed President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address until the government is fully reopened.
The California Democrat told Mr Trump in a letter on Wednesday the Democratic-controlled House will not pass the required measure for him to give the nationally televised speech from the House floor.
Ms Pelosi acted just hours after Mr Trump notified her that he was planning to deliver the speech next Tuesday in line with her original invitation.
Mr 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.
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!January 23, 2019
Ms Pelosi said: “I look forward to welcoming you to the House on a mutually agreeable date for this address when government has been opened.”
Mr Trump said in his letter: “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!”
Mr Trump’s letter was a move in a game of brinkmanship between the president and Ms Pelosi as they remain locked in an increasingly personal standoff over Mr Trump’s demand for border wall money that has forced a partial government shutdown, now in its second month.
Ms Pelosi, as House Speaker, is second in line to the presidency after Vice-President Mike Pence.
- Press Association