On The Money: Shutdown Day 26 | Pelosi calls on Trump to delay State of the Union | Cites 'security concerns' | DHS chief says they can handle security | Waters lays out agenda | Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions

On The Money: Shutdown Day 26  | Pelosi calls on Trump to delay State of the Union | Cites 'security concerns' | DHS chief says they can handle security | Waters lays out agenda | Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions
© Greg Nash

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THE BIG DEAL--Shutdown drama leaves State of the Union address in doubt: Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMilitary bases should not be renamed, we must move forward in the spirit of reconciliation Pelosi: Trump 'himself is a hoax' Women must continue to persist to rise as political leaders of America MORE (D-Calif.) asked President TrumpDonald John TrumpSecret Service members who helped organize Pence Arizona trip test positive for COVID-19: report Trump administration planning pandemic office at the State Department: report Iran releases photo of damaged nuclear fuel production site: report MORE on Wednesday to delay his State of the Union address set for Jan. 29 until after the government reopens.


Pelosi said because the Secret Service is the lead agency for security and it has not been funded due to the shutdown, the address should be put off. 

As an alternative, Pelosi said Trump could consider submitting the State of the Union in writing, which was the previous norm for presidents started by Thomas Jefferson in 1801 and ended by Woodrow Wilson in 1913. 

"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 in the letter to Trump. The Hill's Mike Lillis explains why here.

Pelosi insisted that her decision was over safety and security concerns. The House also passed a Democratic-backed emergency disaster relief bill on Wednesday that includes an amendment funding the federal government through early February.

But Republicans pounced on the speaker and accused her of using the State of the Union as a political cudgel in shutdown talks.

Republican leadership also suggested that Trump should come to the Capitol to deliver his annual update even if she decides to rescind the formal invitation, reports The Hill's Juliegrace Brufke.

"I think he should come here and give a speech like everybody else. I watched when Republicans had the majority in the House, never did we disinvite President Obama. Never did we put politics ahead of America. That is what she is doing," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyMcCarthy to offer bill withholding funds from states that don't protect statues McCarthy calls on Pelosi to condemn 'mob violence' after toppling of St. Junipero Serra statue The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. 'going in the wrong direction' in fight against virus MORE (R-Calif.) told reporters Wednesday.

"It shouldn't be what else should happen - he should come here, he should give the speech and Speaker Pelosi should act like a speaker and have the president and keep her word," he said.

The Trump administration also sought to counter Pelosi's claim. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenThe Seila Law case: Liberty and political firing Hillicon Valley: Twitter falling short on pledge to verify primary candidates | Barr vows to make surveillance reforms after watchdog report | DHS cyber chief focused on 2020 Sen. Kennedy slams acting DHS secretary for lack of coronavirus answers MORE said on Twitter that her department and the Secret Service, which she oversees, "are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union."

The White House hasn't yet responded to Pelosi's request to move the date, though Nielsen's statement indicates Trump is not inclined to grant it.

Why is this happening?

  • White House officials have been considering using the president's annual address to the nation to admonish Democrats over the shutdown and their opposition to Trump's request for $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall.
  • But others have warned Trump that he faces political danger as the shutdown, which has already entered a record-setting 26th day, drags on. Roughly 800,000 workers have already missed paychecks due to the shutdown, and the economic harm from the shutdown is mounting.
  • While Pelosi says she's concerned about security, cancelling the State of the Union address would also Trump of a prime opportunity to blast House Democrats on national TV in their own domain. 



Waters lays out Financial Services agenda: Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersOn The Money: Mnuchin, Powell differ over how soon economy will recover | Millions fear eviction without more aid from Congress | IRS chief pledges to work on tax code's role in racial wealth disparities Millions fear eviction without more aid from Congress House approves statehood for DC in 232-180 vote MORE, chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, delivered a speech Wednesday outlining her priorities as she takes control of the powerful panel. Here are the main highlights:

A slew of freshman Democratic firebrands will join Waters on the Financial Services panel, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.).

While New Yorkers often land seats on the Financial Services panel, those who do are often more sympathetic to Wall Street. But Ocasio-Cortez, who identifies as a democratic socialist, often touts her refusal to accept corporate donations and criticizes colleagues with close ties to the financial sector.


Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions: The Senate on Wednesday narrowly rejected a Democratic-led effort to block President Trump from lifting sanctions against three Russian businesses.


Senators voted 57-42 to end debate on the resolution, falling short of the 60 votes needed. If all Democrats supported the measure, they needed to win over 13 GOP senators. The Hill's Jordain Carney explains here.




  • The IRS on Wednesday announced that it will waive a penalty for some taxpayers who didn't have enough money withheld from their paychecks this year, in an effort to help people as they adjust to the tax-code changes made by President Trump's tax law.
  • President Trump on Wednesday signed a bill guaranteeing back-pay to federal workers furloughed during the partial government shutdown that began in December. And Senate Democrats on Wednesday introduced legislation that would provide back pay to low-wage contractors affected by the government shutdown.
  • Federal workers are increasingly resorting to taking money out of their retirement funds as the shutdown continues, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
  • Citigroup said Wednesday that median pay for women staff at the bank was only 71 percent of the median for men, when measured in unadjusted terms.



  • The travel app Airbnb is rolling out a new program to help federal workers impacted by the ongoing government shutdown by offering a "night on us."
  • Federal prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.