President Donald Trump announced late Wednesday that he would postpone his State of the Union address until after the partial government shutdown ends.
Postponing SOTU shows the worst of Washington
By Genevieve Wood
In effectively disinviting President Donald Trump from delivering his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi undoubtedly feels she has struck a blow for the administration’s opponents.
But all Pelosi has really done is deny the American people the debate they deserve on this critical issue.
Sure, the war of words will continue. But as Trump tweeted late Wednesday, “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.”
Exactly. Now isn’t the time for competing events and a relentless game of tit for tat in the news media. Now is the time to get together and air our respective visions before the public — and do so in a dignified way that respects our long-standing traditions.
Talker: To end the shutdown, reframe the issue
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After all, if the partial shutdown isn’t an economic or a security crisis yet, it is certainly a moral and confidence crisis for our country. And our leaders in Washington are fully responsible for it.
So postponing, or even canceling, the State of the Union address comes at the worst time. Now is exactly when we Americans most deserve to hear from our elected leaders. Now is when we need to hear their plans and get some answers. Not at some date TBD.
The State of the Union is the ideal forum for just that. The president gets to share his vision. The opposition party is given time to respond. The commentators get to analyze and fact-check. And the American people get to decide which path is best.
With Pelosi locking the doors to the House, and Trump accepting the disinvite via Twitter, we’re witnessing Washington at its worst — politicians squabbling while the American people are left without answers.
We can speculate all we want about the real reasons the State of the Union won’t go on as planned. But we don’t need to get into the minds of any politician to call a bad idea a bad idea. And canceling the State of the Union address is a bad idea.
Genevieve Wood is a senior adviser and spokesperson for The Heritage Foundation. You can follow her on Twitter: @genevievewood.
What others are saying
John M. Crisp, Tribune News Service: “As it happens, this would be a particularly good year to dispense with the State of the Union address, or to render the constitutionally required report in writing. All presidents assert that the state of the union is ‘strong.’ This year it’s a bigger stretch than usual to call the state of the union strong, but we can be assured that President Doald Trump will do so, despite the fact that by the end of the month there is a decent chance that part of the government will still be shut down.”
Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., FoxNews.com: “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. House Speaker Nancy 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 also 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.”
Becket Adams, Washington Examiner: “Of course, it doesn’t take a Secret Service official’s remarks to see that postponing the president’s speech is about politics and not at all about safety concerns. Remember: Pelosi originally extended her State of the Union invitation to Trump on Jan. 3 — a full 12 days into the shutdown.”
What our readers are saying
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi clearly knows what she is doing. She cannot be bullied, and she knows how to deal with a petulant man-child. She understands the byzantine regulations, because she has taken the time to learn them, unlike President Donald Trump, who thinks he can do whatever he wants regardless of law and precedent. There is no way she lets him out of the box he has created for himself.
— Dana Quinn
If you liberals are now attempting to silence the president, what would you do to the average American in a few years? Looks like liberal fascism is here.
— Tom Panmayil
Trump may think he’s omnipotent, but here in America we have three equal branches of government. And Trump has no power over the House. This isn’t Russia or North Korea, even if Trump thinks he has total control of the government and news media. It’s high time that the Republicans in Congress put their “big boy” pants on and start doing their job, instead of enabling Trump’s poor decisions and tantrums.
— Glenn Weintraub
Trump should just give the State of the Union in the Oval Office by himself. Don’t let these liberals dictate orders to the president of the United States.
— Ken Scott
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