President Donald Trump has said he will be giving the State of the Union address on Feb. 5, according to an announcement from the White House following a clash during the weekslong partial government shutdown.
In accepting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s invitation, Trump said it is “my great honor to accept,” adding that “we have a great story to tell and yet, great goals to achieve!”
“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 posted on her website. “In our conversation today, we agreed on February 5th.”
The annual address was slated for Tuesday, Jan. 29, but was pushed back after Pelosi asked Trump to reschedule the speech amid the partial government shutdown.
Earlier, Trump had mulled over moving the address to another location away from the U.S. Capitol but he ultimately decided to wait until the shutdown was over.
“I am not looking for an alternative venue for the SOTU Address because there is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition, and importance of the House Chamber,” Trump tweeted at the time. “I look forward to giving a ‘great’ State of the Union Address in the near future!”
The 35-day-long shutdown ended on Friday. Jan. 25, after Trump made a deal with congressional leaders to reopen the government until Feb. 15.
Now, a bipartisan conference among both chambers of Congress will take place to come to an agreement on border security. Trump said he would allow government funding to lapse again or declare a national emergency to bypass Congress if funding for the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border was not included.
“Negotiations with Democrats will start immediately,” Trump tweeted, adding that it “will not be easy to make a deal, both parties very dug in. The case for National Security has been greatly enhanced by what has been happening at the Border & through dialogue. We will build the Wall!”
The Constitution states that the president “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union,” meaning the president can speak anywhere he chooses or give his update in writing.
But a joint address in the House chamber in front of lawmakers of both parties, the Supreme Court justices, and invited guests, provides the kind of grand backdrop that’s difficult to replicate.
Pelosi, a Democrat from California, cited security concerns for not having the State of the Union on the scheduled date, as government workers weren’t being paid enough due to the shutdown.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had said that security would be adequate for the event amid the shutdown.
“The Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union. We thank the Service for their mission focus and dedication and for all they do each day to secure our homeland,” Nielsen said in a statement last week.
Several security officials said that they’ve been planning for the event for months.
“It’s a no-fail mission,” one law enforcement official said. “We’ve been planning for this for months, as we always do. It didn’t start up 29 days ago.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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