After a week of tit for tat with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, amid a monthlong government shutdown, the White House is now moving ahead with plans for the president's State of the Union address, proceeding as if it were happening as originally planned next week.
White House officials are aiming for the speech to occur before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, Jan. 29. But it is far from guaranteed. The House must pass a resolution to call a joint session with the Senate before the president can come speak.
It's unclear whether that will happen; Pelosi hasn't yet weighed in on whether she will allow it.
White House and House Democratic aides confirm to NPR that the White House requested a security walk-through of the U.S. Capitol on Monday. That was declined because of the federal Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
The original security check was canceled last week after Pelosi sent a letter to Trump suggesting that he reschedule his State of the Union address, or submit it in writing because of security concerns resulting from the government shutdown.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pushed back on the security concerns, saying in a tweet last week that even if they weren't getting paid, the U.S. Secret Service and others in the Department of Homeland Security "are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union."
The Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union. We thank the Service for their mission focus and dedication and for all they do each day to secure our homeland.— Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen (@SecNielsen) January 16, 2019
While there has been no official communication between the White House and the speaker's office since last week, President Trump did tweet a response to Pelosi over the weekend, criticizing her for walking back the invitation and leaving the outcome uncertain.
"I'll get back to you soon!" the president wrote.
Nancy, I am still thinking about the State of the Union speech, there are so many options - including doing it as per your written offer (made during the Shutdown, security is no problem), and my written acceptance. While a contract is a contract, I’ll get back to you soon!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2019