US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has invited Donald Trump to deliver his State of the Union speech on February 5, after White House press secretary Sarah Sanders accused her of not acting in good faith.
The date confirmation comes after the president finally backed down over the border wall, agreeing to put a temporary end to the partial government shutdown after 35 days.
In a formal letter issued today, it’s suggested that the president will reschedule the speech.
The shutdown had a major effect on Trump’s approval rating, which sunk to a historic low — according to an ABC News poll.
“In our conversation today, we agreed on Feb. 5,” Ms Pelosi wrote.
The House and Senate still must pass a resolution officially inviting Mr Trump to speak to a joint session of Congress.
Ms Pelosi was largely credited for cornering the president into backing down, with many claiming she out-dealt Mr Trump. She had placed the condition that Mr Trump would not be able to deliver the speech until the shutdown was over.
“In Pelosi, Trump has encountered a canny and implacable foe, with an intimate understanding of the power invested in the Congress. She would not be bullied or cowed,” CNN’s David Axelrod wrote.
Political commentator Ann Coulter called Trump the “biggest wimp ever to serve as President of the United States.”
DEAL ON WALL OR ELSE
The White House has threatened executive action if politicians can’t reach a deal on border security in the next three weeks.
Ms Sanders told reporters today, at her first White House briefing of the year, that if Congress can’t come to a deal that Mr Trump supports, then that will “force him to take executive action.”
She said: “If Congress doesn’t do their job, then the president will be forced to make up for all their shortcomings.”
Mr Trump has repeatedly threatened to sign a national emergency declaration bypassing Congress to try to secure money to build his long-promised border wall.
That move would surely be challenged in court.
Ms Sanders also told reporters that the White House doesn’t want to see another government shutdown when temporary funding runs out in three weeks, but she says that is up to politicians.