Nancy Pelosi has told President Donald Trump the US House of Representatives will not authorise him to give the State of the Union address in the chamber “until government has opened”.
Responding forcefully to a letter from the president earlier in the day in which he essentially dared her to disinvite him, the US House Speaker said in a letter to Trump that the House would not consider a measure authorising the speech for now.
“Again, I look forward to welcoming you to the House on a mutually agreeable date for this address when government has been opened,” Pelosi said to Trump in her letter.
She issued the warning as the partial government shutdown reached 33 days.
In response to the letter, Trump told reporters at a healthcare-related event at the White House that he would respond to Pelosi in a timely manner.
The State of the Union speech, an annual rite in American politics that is typically used by presidents to announce their policy goals for the coming year, has become a hostage to the standoff between Trump and congressional Democrats over his demands for funding for a US-Mexico border wall.