After delay, President Trump to give State of the Union on February 5

With a partial government shutdown over for now, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited President Donald Trump to give his 2019 State of the Union Address to a Joint Session of Congress on February 5, a week later than the originally scheduled speech, which was delayed by the Speaker in the midst of a 35 day funding lapse for about one quarter of the federal government.

"It is my great honor to accept," President Trump wrote in a letter back to the Speaker. "I look forward to seeing you on the 5th."

The calm exchange of letters came a week after the Speaker refused to pass the necessary resolutions in Congress to allow for a State of the Union Address, as Pelosi told the President he needed to first allow the federal government to fully re-open.

In her letter, the Speaker also indicated that the two had spoken on Monday, something that had not been happening during much of the partial shutdown.

The agreement on a State of the Union Address came as the Congressional Budget Office said the partial shutdown - the longest ever for the federal government - would definitely have a negative economic impact.

"Although most of the real GDP lost during the fourth quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019 will eventually be recovered, CBO estimates that about $3 billion will not be," the CBO wrote in a new report issued on Monday.

While the White House disputed the CBO's economic assertion, Democrats grabbed on to it.

"Not only did the #TrumpShutdown inflict needless pain on 800,000 federal workers, it also dealt an irreparable blow to the nation's economy," tweeted Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA).

"These are the economic consequences of shuttering the government for 35 days, and we cannot let the President do it again," said Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE).

"This should never happen again because of a policy difference," said Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL).

The timing of the President's speech on February 5 - 10 days before the next funding deadline of February 15 - will give Mr. Trump the chance to set out his goals for a border funding deal, as official House-Senate negotiations are set to begin on Wednesday.

About the Author