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Nancy Pelosi suggests Trump delay State of the Union over shutdown
[WASHINGTON] House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested in a letter to President Donald Trump that he postpone his State of the Union address due to the partial government shutdown that stretched into its 26th day on Wednesday.
Mrs Pelosi suggested Trump also consider delivering the speech in writing to Congress on the day it was originally scheduled, Jan 29.
The California Democrat wrote in her letter that the security demands for the speech "require weeks of detailed planning with dozens of agencies working together to prepare for the safety of all participants." She pointed out the Secret Service and Homeland Security Department are among the agencies that lack funding.
Negotiations over ending the shutdown have stalled as Mr Trump insists on funding for a wall on the southern border and Democrats demand to open the government before discussing border security.
The Constitution calls for the president "from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union."
Before Mrs Pelosi's letter, the White House was pushing forward with planning for the annual address. Senior administration officials held a meeting on the speech on Tuesday, and the regular preparations - including contacting potential guests for the first lady's box and discussing broad themes the White House might highlight in the address - were under way, according to a White House official.