Manchin Calls Pelosi’s Request for SOTU Postponement the ‘Wrong Approach’

Mairead McArdle

Democratic senator Joe Manchin said Wednesday that he thinks House speaker Nancy Pelosi made the wrong move in asking President Trump to postpone his State of the Union address until the government is reopened, or give the address from the Oval Office instead of the capitol.

“I’m not sure what her intentions are,” Manchin said on NBC. “I have the utmost respect for Speaker Pelosi. But I think this is the wrong approach to be taking right now.”

Pelosi cited security concerns in a letter to Trump on Wednesday asking that  he postpone the State of the Union address to Congress until the government reopens, or deliver it from the Oval Office instead.

“Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to the president.

The government shutdown entered a record 26th day on Wednesday, as the stalemate over Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion to fund the construction of a wall on the southern border continued. Democrats have refused to approve more than $1.6 billion for non-wall border security, and the president has rejected several Democratic proposals to temporarily reopen the government agencies affected by the shutdown as negotiations continue.

Manchin, one of the most conservative Democrats in the Senate, met earlier this week with federal workers in his home state of West Virginia who have been affected by the shutdown and discussed possible remedies with them.

“We’re at an impasse,” Manchin told them. “Right now, we’re all so far apart that we’re just putting people through misery and agony right now. I’ve never seen millions of Americans being held hostage.”

“We should try to have every type of respectful dialogue that we possibly can,” Manchin said Wednesday. “Where I come from in West Virginia we just don’t act this way.”

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