House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Democrats will block President Donald Trump from giving his State of the Union in the House chamber until the 33-day-old partial government shutdown ends.
Pelosi had initially invited Trump to give the speech later this month, but she sent him a letter last week asking him to delay his remarks or submit them in writing. She cited concerns over security because of the partial government shutdown, which affects the Department of Homeland Security.
Earlier Wednesday, Trump told Pelosi in a letter that he would be "honoring" Pelosi's original invitation for him to give the speech on Jan. 29 and that the Department of Homeland Security and Secret Service had dismissed her concern that security could be a problem given the furlough of some federal workers since Dec. 22.
The State of the Union speech, an annual rite in American politics that is typically used by presidents to announce their policy goals for the coming year, has become a hostage to the standoff between Trump and congressional Democrats over his demands for funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Both the House and the Senate would need to vote on resolutions formally inviting Trump to give the address.