Pelosi invites Trump to hold State of the Union on Feb 5

Key Points
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invites President Donald Trump to give the State of the Union on Feb. 5.
  • The government shutdown fight previously delayed the president's speech.
Nancy Pelosi invites President Trump to give SOTU on Feb. 5th
Nancy Pelosi invites President Trump to give SOTU on Feb. 5th

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has invited President Donald Trump to give the State of the Union address on Feb. 5, following a clash during the partial government shutdown that delayed the speech.

In a letter to Trump, the California Democrat said she and the president agreed to the date after they spoke on Monday.

The president accepted Pelosi's invitation in a letter, saying "We have a great story to tell and yet, great goals to achieve!"

The annual remarks were originally scheduled for Tuesday, before Pelosi asked Trump on Jan. 16 to delay them until the closure ended.

A week later, Trump told Pelosi that he would speak in the House chamber as planned. The House leader responded that her caucus would not approve the joint session of Congress needed for him to speak in the House chamber until the government was open. Trump then relented.

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The president signed legislation into law Friday to reopen the government for three weeks, after a prolonged spat over his demand for $5.7 billion to build his proposed border wall. The measure does not include money for the barrier — which Democrats have flatly refused to approve.

A bipartisan, bicameral conference committee will try to hash out an agreement on border security. Trump has threatened to let government funding lapse again, or declare a national emergency to bypass Congress, if lawmakers do not reach a deal he likes.

The power struggle over border wall funding widened into the spat over the State of the Union. It reflected a perception of dysfunction and gridlock that has intensified since Democrats gained control of the House, and Republicans kept their hold on the Senate and White House, in January.

When Trump first heard about Pelosi's pledge to block him from giving the address, he said he would hold an "alternative" event, contending that the Democrat is "afraid of the truth." He called her action a "great blotch" on the country.

Trump backed off later the same day. He tweeted that he would "do the Address when the shutdown is 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 wrote. "I look forward to giving a 'great' State of the Union Address in the near future!"