US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has informed US President Donald Trump that he will not be allowed to deliver his annual State of the Union address until a partial government shutdown ends.
According to Press TV, Pelosi said in a letter to Trump on Wednesday "I am writing to inform you that the House of Representatives will not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing the president’s State of the Union Address in the House chamber until government has opened.”
This afternoon, I sent @realDonaldTrump a letter informing him that the House will not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing the President’s State of the Union Address in the House Chamber until government has opened.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 23, 2019
The State of the Union Speech is considered as an opportunity by the US presidents to explain their future goals before a joint session of the US Congress at the beginning of each year. This year's speech had been set for January 29.
Pelosi on January 16 asked Trump to consider postponing the speech because of the shutdown, citing concerns about security for the event.
But Trump downplayed the security concerns, saying that the Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service had told him there would be no problem with security for the address.
"It would be so very sad for our country if the State of the Union were not delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location!" Trump wrote in a letter to Pelosi on Wednesday.
"Therefore, I will be honoring your invitation, and fulfilling my constitutional duty, to deliver important information to the people and Congress of the United States of America regarding the state of our union," Trump added. "I look forward to seeing you on the evening of January 29th in the Chamber of the House of Representatives."
This comes after Trump postponed Pelosi's trip to Afghanistan last week in what appeared to be a tit-for-tat move over the government shutdown.
Since December 22, a quarter of the US government has been closed because of an impasse between opposition Democratic Party lawmakers and the Republican administration of Trump over funding for a wall at the border with Mexico to block illegal immigration.
Trump refuses to endorse a budget that does not contain $5.7 billion to build the barrier, a key promise of his 2016 election campaign.
Democrats oppose the wall, calling it "immoral," costly and ineffective. They want the government reopened before any discussion of the matter.