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Pelosi cancels Trump's SOTU speech

TRUMP ADDRESS | 24 de enero de 2019

Washington, Jan 23 (efe-epa).- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday officially cancelled President Donald Trump's State of the Union address before Congress.

"When I extended an invitation on January 3rd for you to deliver the State of the Union address, it was on the mutually agreed upon date, January 29th. At that time, there was no thought that the government would still be shut down," she said in a letter to Trump made public 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," Pelosi, a California Democrat, said.

To allow the president to deliver the speech, the House must officially give its approval in a resolution.

After receiving Pelosi's letter, Trump told reporters at the White House that "I'm not surprised. It's really a shame what's happening with the Democrats, they've become radicalized."

Later, at another White House event, Trump said Pelosi had cancelled the SOTU address "because she doesn't want to hear the truth."

"I think that's a great blotch on the great country we all love, it's a great, great horrible mark. I don't believe it's ever happened before," the president said. "This is a negative part of history. This is where people are afraid to open up and say what's going on."

Earlier on Wednesday Trump had rejected Pelosi's written suggestion that he delay his SOTU speech until after the partial government shutdown is ended, writing Pelosi himself to formally state he was intending to deliver the address as scheduled on Jan. 29 in the House of Representatives.

"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 wrote to Pelosi.

It was after she had received that letter that Pelosi directed another letter of her own to the president formally cancelling his speech.

The relationship between Pelosi and Trump has gotten considerably more tense in recent weeks, with mutual reproaches and lack of respect as a result of the political logjam that has resulted in the federal government remaining partially shut down for more than a month.

After Pelosi's suggestion that the traditional annual address - which the president delivers before a joint session of Congress - be postponed for security reasons until after the government is fully reopened, Trump retaliated by cancelling her trip to Afghanistan aboard a military aircraft.

Last weekend, the president offered to extend two immigration programs that he had previously cancelled - the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) - in exchange for Congress providing $5.7 billion in funding to begin construction of his much-touted and highly controversial US-Mexico border wall, saying in effect that he would reopen the government if he got the funding he had been demanding.

The Senate is scheduled to vote Thursday on two proposals - one Democratic and one Republican - to end the shutdown, the longest in US history since 1976, which has resulted in some 800,000 federal employees, some of them furloughed but some being required to continue working, not receiving paychecks in more than a month.

Neither initiative is thought to have any real chance of being passed in the Senate.

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