The U.S. government shutdown has stretched on for so long that you may have to reschedule your State of the Union drinking game.
The national address was originally scheduled to be held on January 29, but because of the shutdown, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has asked the president to reschedule his speech, write it all down in a heartfelt letter, or, you know, let the government reopen.
“Sadly, given the security concerns, and unless government reopens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has reopened for this address, or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to Donald Trump, which Politico obtained.
As speaker of the house, Pelosi has to issue a formal invitation to the president to come to Congress for the annual speech. After sending the letter, reporters asked Pelosi if she was disinviting him. Pelosi denied it was anything more than a security concern, telling reporters, “He can make it from the Oval Office if he wants.”
The not-disinvitation comes on the 26th day of the government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, as the president continues to insist that the only spending bill he will approve is one that includes $5 billion in funding for a border wall. Democrats have refused to agree with that demand and, security risk or not, probably don’t want to give the president (another) very public platform to extol the virtues of a wall. For now, polls show that most of the public pins the blame for the shutdown on the president.