Pelosi Pens Letter That Could Actually Ban Trump’s STOU Address

January 24, 2019
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The House Speaker might actually be able to prevent President Trump from making his State of The Union address. Pelosi’s letter asking President Donald Trump to delay the State of the Union address is less a request and more of an order, says a top Congressional scholar.

Larry Tribe, professor of Constitutional law at Harvard Law School, says that as long as Pelosi is opposed to the State of the Union happening, as scheduled, on Jan. 29, it won’t happen.

“Pelosi was basically uninviting the President, but doing it diplomatically,” Tribe tells Fortune. “The form in which the State of the Union address is delivered isn’t constitutionally specified, but if it’s to be delivered as a Joint Session of Congress as has become the custom, the House and Senate must jointly adopt a resolution to schedule it. Without that, he can’t come. Neither chamber has adopted such a resolution yet, and as long as Pelosi opposes it, it’s DOA.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Wednesday it was “unbecoming of the office” for Speaker Nancy Pelosi to call for a postponement or cancellation of President Trump’s planned January 29 State of the Union address.

“I think Speaker Pelosi is playing politics like I’ve never seen a speaker before,” McCarthy, R-Calif., told the Washington Examiner Wednesday. “I think it’s unbecoming of the office to disinvite the president. The American people have the right to be able to hear the president and the president has a right to deliver a state of the union.”

“It is not a security issue, that’s politics and you know it,” McCarthy said. “For her to say security … there is no security issue, it is pure politics and it’s wrong.”

According to NBC, a State of the Union address has not been rescheduled since President Ronald Reagan chose to move his planned Jan. 28, 1986, speech when the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up that morning. Reagan instead addressed the nation from the Oval Office that night and postponed the State of the Union.

 

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