House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is throwing a political temper tantrum by urging President Trump not to deliver the State of the Union address in the House chamber as scheduled Tuesday.
President Trump was right to send a letter to Pelosi on Wednesday saying he is going ahead with plans to deliver the speech as scheduled from the House chamber.
"I look forward to seeing you on the evening on January 29th in the Chamber of the House of Representatives,” the president wrote. “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!"
Pelosi cited security concerns during the partial government shutdown as a reason to postpone the president’s annual speech until after the shutdown ends – or to have him submit a written message. This is absurd. Pelosi knows the Department of Homeland Security can provide adequate security for the speech.
The State of the Union address, given by the president to a joint session of Congress every year, symbolizes the greatness of the American system of government. Pelosi’s snubbing of President Trump is an over-the-top symbol of the Democrats’ rejection not just of the man the American people voted to lead our nation, but of the will of the American people.
No speaker of the House – Democrat or Republican – should deny the duly elected president of the United States the opportunity to speak to a joint session of Congress and the American people in the annual rite of democracy that the State of the Union address has become.
The White House is still working with the House sergeant at arms to proceed as planned with the speech, though it is ultimately up to Pelosi to decide if the president can speak from the House floor.
Pelosi’s position shows that the Democrats are focused on politics rather than policy.
Even after President Clinton was impeached by a Republican House that vehemently disagreed with him on many issues, he was afforded the opportunity to make his case about the state of our nation to Congress and the American people in the House chamber.
Can you imagine the outrage if a Republican speaker of the House would have prevented Presidents Clinton, Obama or any past Democratic president from addressing a joint session of Congress and the American people?
Instead of her display of petulance, Pelosi should focus on saving American lives by securing our southern border. She continues to stubbornly keep part of our government closed rather than negotiating to build a border wall to safeguard our national security.
Walls work. A border wall will help deter the number of people who risk their lives to illegally enter the country.
A border wall will help us take back control of the border from drug and human trafficking cartels. It will force people coming into the U.S. from Mexico to ports of entry or to openings along the border where we can have our Border Patrol agents stationed to interdict illegal border crossers.
Pelosi’s rejection of giving the president the opportunity to speak to Congress and the American people shows the Democrats are opposing a border wall only because of their blatant animus and disdain against our president.
Let’s be frank: Pelosi is openly hostile to giving the President a political victory on anything. She is bowing to the most radical wing of her party to oppose just about everything the president supports.
As a representative of people in a border state, I would be arguing for a border wall and other border-strengthening measures regardless of who was president. This issue should not be about politics. It should be about protecting the people we all represent, regardless of their political affiliation or ours.
While the Democrats are playing politics, President Trump is listening to the experts on the border – Border Patrol agents and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents who encounter illegal immigrants.
Democrats have wrongly claimed that President Trump doesn’t listen to experts on trade or foreign affairs. It is hypocritical for Pelosi to now ignore the experts on border security while obeying the voices of the radical left-wing of her party.
Playing games with the State of the Union address is immature and indicates a lack of respect for the border security issues that are animating many in this country.
It is time for Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to put the safety of the American people ahead of their political gamesmanship. They should provide funding for the border wall, reopen the federal government and invite President Trump to give his State of the Union address in the House chamber on schedule Tuesday.