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Pelosi invites Trump to deliver the State of the Union address next week

Pelosi invites Trump to deliver the State of the Union address next week

Pelosi invites Trump to deliver the State of the Union address next week
January 29
06:53 2019

United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has invited US President Donald Trump to give his annual State of the Union address in the House Chamber on February 5.

“When I wrote to you on January 23rd, I stated that we should work together to find a mutually agreeable date when government has reopened to schedule this year's State of the Union address,” Pelosi wrote in a letter on Monday.

“Therefore, I invite you to deliver your State of the Union address before a Joint Session of Congress on February 5, 2019 in the House Chamber.”

Trump accepted the invitation later in the day.

“It is my great honor to accept. We have a great story to tell and yet, great goals to achieve,” said Trump in an official White House statement.

Trump and Pelosi had previously engaged in what observers described as a “tit-for-tat” squabble over the White House shutdown and disputed southern wall budget.

On January 17, Trump postponed a planned overseas trip by Pelosi, citing shutdown concerns.

Many speculated that Trump’s move came in response to Pelosi's suggestion a day earlier that the State of the Union may better be delayed due to lacking security during the shutdown.

Last week, Pelosi formally blocked Trump’s planned January 29 address, stating that the address will be held only after the government reopens.

Two days later, Trump signed legislation to temporarily resume government functions.

Pelosi, nonetheless, insisted on delaying the speech to a later date.

“What I said to the president is when the government is opened we will discuss a mutually agreeable date,” Pelosi said

The State of the Union speech is considered as an opportunity for US presidents to explain future plans before a joint session of the US Congress at the beginning of each year. 

Since December 22, a quarter of the US government had been closed due to an impasse between opposition Democratic Party lawmakers and the Republican administration of Trump over funding for a wall at the border with Mexico to block illegal immigration.

Trump refuses to endorse a budget that does not contain $5.7 billion to build the barrier, a key promise of his 2016 election campaign.

Democrats oppose the wall, calling it “immoral,” costly and ineffective. They had pressed for the government to be reopened before any discussion on the matter.

On Monday, congressional researchers said the US economy lost an estimated $3 billion from the 35-day shutdown, the longest in US history.

The global ratings agency Standard and Poor's (S&P), however, estimated shutdown damage to have reached $6 billion, exceeding what Trump had requested for the wall by $300 million.

 

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