White House considers ‘many ways’ to proceed with State of the Union, puts ball back in Pelosi’s court

The Trump White House appears to be planning on going ahead with the State of the Union address, which would put pressure on the shoulders of Speaker Nancy Pelosi to decide how she will proceed.

With Pelosi playing politics with the annual address, urging President Trump to delay the speech or submit it in writing amid the government shutdown, it’s being reported that the White House sent a letter to the House Sergeant at Arms asking to schedule a walk-through for next week’s planned address.

Citing several sources, Fox News reported that it’s “unclear whether the address scheduled for Jan. 29 will in fact go forward, or what venue it would be in. The White House is even planning for the possibility of a speech outside of Washington.”

More from Fox News:

At the moment, President Trump intends to be at the Capitol next Tuesday to deliver his speech as scheduled, sources said. White House officials told Fox News they essentially are preparing for two tracks for next week’s speech. The preferred track is an address, as per custom, at the Capitol. The second track is a backup plan for a speech outside of Washington, D.C.

Ultimately, whether the speech is given on the House floor is up to Pelosi. In an appearance on Fox News on Tuesday, White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley suggested the president could move the location of the speech should Pelosi block it in the House.

“There are many ways he can deliver the State of the Union address,” Gidley said on “America’s Newsroom.” “I’m not going to get ahead of anything he would announce.”


Jennifer Jacobs, a reporter for Bloomberg News, tweeted: “The White House sent an email requesting access to House chamber for State of the Union prep. House officials waiting for Speaker Pelosi’s office’s guidance on how to proceed.”

Jacobs’ tweet was in response to Fox News Chief White House Correspondent John Roberts reporting on the issue, to include a note that a scheduled walk through last week was canceled by Pelosi.

He also noted that the White House is “pursuing two tracks,” one being “outside of Washington.”

“Preferred track is to deliver the speech as scheduled on Jan 29. Whether that happens or not is up to @SpeakerPelosi . 2nd track – a backup plan – is a speech somewhere outside of Washington, DC,” he tweeted.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley appeared Tuesday on Fox News’ “American Newsroom” to say Pelosi was “trying to play politics” with the venue and suggested the president could move the location of the speech.

“There are many ways he can deliver the State of the Union address,” Gidley said. “I’m not going to get ahead of anything he would announce.”

In light of Pelosi’s stance, there have been suggestions that Trump hold the SOTU on the southern border, where the humanitarian crisis the Democratic Party refuses to acknowledge is taking place.

There have also been suggestions to hold the SOTU at the White House and invite “Angel Parents” — mothers and fathers of US citizens killed by illegal immigrants.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., took to Twitter to suggest the president hold the  address in the upper chamber of Congress.

“Senator McConnell is in charge of the Senate. If Mrs. Pelosi refuses to allow the president to deliver the State of the Union in the House, I propose we move it to the Senate and make it happen!” he tweeted.

The news prompted some on social media to suggest that Trump is planning to cave and re-open the federal government before next week — but don’t count on it.

Here’s a sampling of other responses from Twitter:


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