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Current Events

THE STATE OF OUR UNION…

IS DELAYED.

 

The 96th in-person State of the Union address remains on ice.

Current Events

State Of The Union (SOTU) Address 101

  • First delivered in 1790 by President George Washington.
  • Delivered via a written letter to Congress from 1801 – 1913.
  • Known as Annual Message until 1946; known as SOTU ever since.
  • Postponed by Pres. Reagan in 1986 after Challenger explosion.
  • Mandated by U.S. Constitution, no directions on when or where.
Current Events

The Current Controversy

  • Last Week: Nearly 2 wks after House Speaker Pelosi invited Pres. Trump to deliver the address on 1/29, she suggested to delay it b/c of the partial gov’t shutdown & potential lack of security funding.
  • This Week: After Pres. Trump accepted invite (citing Dept. of Homeland Security approval) the Speaker said she won’t authorize it until shutdown ends.
Current Events

How Powerful Is Pelosi?

  • SOTU addresses traditionally held before a “joint session” (both Senate & House present) in the House chamber, which requires both houses to pass a resolution.
  • The Speaker can control the House (who speaks & when) by halting the vote on a resolution.
  • No resolution = no joint session. No joint session = No SOTU address *on* the House floor.

Current Events

BOTTOM LINE

House Speaker Pelosi can stop Pres. Trump from delivering the SOTU address on the House floor (podium or dais), but she can’t prevent him entering the House chamber OR delivering it elsewhere.

Current Events

Late Wednesday, President Trump said he will postpone his state of the union address after the shutdown is over because "no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber."

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