House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed the U.S. Conference of Mayors Wednesday afternoon, hours after President Trumpsaying he would conduct the State of the Union in the House chambers despite Pelosi's request to postpone the speech. She did not address the State of the Union in her speech.
Pelosi, who is the daughter and the sister of two former mayors of Baltimore, began her speech by addressing the government shutdown.
"The senseless and prolonged shutdown is inflicting chaos across the country," she said, adding that mayors could feel the impact of the shutdown in their cities. "I know as the daughter and sister of a mayor that there is no buffer between a mayor and constituents...you know the shutdown must end, and must end now."
She said that while Democrats support border security, they will not support building a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico -- which she called "a campaign applause line." Mr. Trump is refusing to sign any government funding bill which does not include money for a wall.
"There is serious and justified concern that the president will shut down the government any time he doesn't get his way," Pelosi said, explaining why it was important to hold firm. To the Republican mayors in the room, Pelosi said that she urged them to "take back their party" from Mr. Trump.
Pelosi then outlined priorities for Congress and for mayors across the country, including infrastructure, public education concerns and immigration reform. he said mayors needed to address three major issues in coming years: economic inequality, climate change and housing crises in cities across the country.
As she was speaking, Pelosi's office released a letter saying that she would "not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing the President's State of the Union address in the House Chamber until government has opened." For the president to address a joint session of Congress, the House and Senate must pass a joint resolution to create the session for him to speak.
Pelosi sent a letter to Mr. Trump on Jan. 16because of potential security concerns, as the government shutdown has affected the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Secret Service. However, Mr. Trump said in his letter on Wednesday that DHS and the Secret Service had told him "there would be absolutely no problem regarding security with respect to the address." Therefore, Mr. Trump said he would fulfill Pelosi's original Jan. 3 invitation for him to speak and appear in the House chamber to deliver the address on Jan. 29.
"It would be so very sad for our Country if the State of the Union were not delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location!" Mr. Trump said.
Wednesday marks the 33rd day of the partial government shutdown, the longest in American history. Mr. Trump offered a deal to Democrats over the weekend extending temporary protections for the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program. While the Senate will vote on the deal this week, Democrats have already expressed opposition due to the temporary nature of the extended protections, and the $5.7 billion border wall funding request.
According to areleased Wednesday, 7 in 10 Americans don't think the issue of a border wall is worth a government shutdown, which they say is now having a negative impact on the country. But partisans don't want their own side to budge: 65 percent of Republicans say President Trump should refuse a budget unless it includes wall funding, and 69 percent of Democrats think congressional Democrats should keep refusing to fund it.