Trump should stay on schedule

As much as she may wish she could, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi cannot muzzle the president. Her stunt in suggesting President Donald Trump postpone his scheduled Jan. 29 State of the Union speech is meaningless, except in a political context.

Pelosi, D-Calif., a few weeks ago issued a formal invitation for Trump to address Congress on Jan. 29. But this week, she made a very public request that he postpone the speech. She claimed to be concerned about security, because of the ongoing shutdown of some federal agencies.

Those involved in keeping the president and other high-ranking officials safe already have dismissed Pelosi’s ploy. Security will be no problem, they say.

For many decades, it has been customary for both the House and U.S. Senate to hold a joint session early in the year to hear the State of the Union address. Some liberals insist that if Pelosi and Demcrats in the House refuse to agree to that, Trump cannot have an audience on Jan. 29.

Even in the current context of a veritable blizzard of misunderstanding and misinformation about government, that claim stands out for its utter stupidity. The very section of the Constitution requiring presidents to provide State of the Union reports from time to time also gives them the authority to convene both houses of Congress. Pelosi’s assent is not required.

Of course, there always is the possibility of her ordering Democrats to stay away from a State of the Union session. That would be as transparent as the “blue flu” that sometimes seems to afflict people who decide not to report to work for one reason or another.

Trump should not alter his plans for a Jan. 29 address. If anything, given the ongoing “shutdown,” a formal report on the state of our dysfunctional union is important.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)