GOP senators would support postponing State of the Union

Several GOP senators would support postponing the State of the Union address set for January 29 if the government has not been fully reopened.

“It's appropriate to not necessarily overburden furloughed workers – if it's not necessary because we can reschedule it and I hope we would,” Sen. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerMomentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day On Paycheck Protection Program, streamlined forgiveness is key McConnell shores up GOP support for coronavirus package MORE (R-N.D.), a top ally of President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE’s, told reporters on Wednesday.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election Trump is betting big on the suburbs, but his strategy is failing 'bigly' Trump orders flags at half-staff to honor 'trailblazer' Ginsburg MORE (D-Calif.) sent a letter to the White House on Wednesday asking that Trump either postpone the address or give it in writing given the shutdown. She cited security concerns, noting the Department of Homeland Security is covered by the shutdown, as is the Secret Service.

Secret Service agents and many Homeland Security officials are working without pay during the shutdown.

“Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th,” Pelosi wrote.

Cramer shot down the idea of President Trump submitting a written speech.

“It's very important that he deliver the speech as a speech and not as a script of some sort,” he said.

Fellow GOP Senator Mike RoundsMarion (Mike) Michael RoundsChamber of Commerce endorses McSally for reelection Senate GOP eyes early exit Senate Republicans signal openness to working with Biden MORE (S.D.) echoed Cramer’s sentiments.

“I'm hoping that we have the shutdown out of the way before then,” Rounds told Hill.TV.

He acknowledged that Pelosi “has the prerogative” to recommend a postponement.

“The president would probably recognize that she can make that request, I would prefer then, that if that is the case, that he delay it but he give it in person rather than trying to do a written report,” he said.

Liberal senators including Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersNYT editorial board remembers Ginsburg: She 'will forever have two legacies' Two GOP governors urge Republicans to hold off on Supreme Court nominee Sanders knocks McConnell: He's going against Ginsburg's 'dying wishes' MORE (I-Vt.) and Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinPPP application window closes after coronavirus talks deadlock  Congress eyes tighter restrictions on next round of small business help Senate passes extension of application deadline for PPP small-business loans MORE (D-Md.) agree with Pelosi that a postponement is appropriate.

Sanders, a potential 2020 presidential contender, told Hill.TV that the shutdown should be ended before a State of the Union address.

Cardin also said the “number one priority” should be opening the government.

—Molly K. Hooper