The Corner

White House

Shutting Down the State of the Union

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is rescinding her invitation to President Trump to give the State of the Union address on January 29. She says he should not give it until the shutdown is over, or should deliver it in writing. The president can give the same speech if he wants to — but he will have to give it in a less traditional venue.

The House Republicans’ campaign committee has sent out an email grouping Pelosi’s decision with other Democrats’ expressions of hostility to the Senate, the Electoral College, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. But the Senate and the Electoral College are part of our Constitution, and ICE is necessary to carry out an important government function. An annual presidential speech to Congress is neither. If the shutdown results in the end of this tradition begun by Woodrow Wilson, something good will have come of it.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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