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Power

Speaker Pelosi suggested a date change for the State of the Union until after the end of the shutdown or for Trump to just submit a written report.

The standard State of the Union address requires action by the House and the Senate to pass resolutions, and neither has done so yet. It is staged in the House chamber and requires the invitation of the Speaker as it is “her House”.

She says that it would be better from a security standpoint for the Secret Service to be paid during the planning and execution of the event. Currently the Secret Service is working without pay. It is difficult to focus on your job when you are concerned about paying your bills. Financial problems are often cited when security clearances are revoked.

While it is obvious that this is primarily a reminder to Trump of the power of the Speaker, I have never been comfortable with that much of the government gathered in one place at a known time. Most of the Presidential line of succession are at the speech, as well as the Supreme Court. Imagine Betsy DeVos being the designated Cabinet member not at the speech and something happening.

A written SOU was good enough Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, so it should be good enough for Trump. I don’t see the networks giving him any more free airtime after his last stunt.