Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday invited President Trump to deliver his annual State of the Union address on Feb. 4.
“In their great wisdom, our Founders crafted a Constitution based on a system of separation of powers: three co-equal branches acting as checks on each other. To ensure that balance of powers, the Constitution calls for the president to ‘from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union,’ ” Pelosi wrote in a letter to Trump.
“In the spirit of respecting our Constitution, I invite you to deliver your State of the Union address before a Joint Session of Congress on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 in the Chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives.”
A White House aide later told The Hill that Trump had accepted.
Pelosi’s letter comes two days after the House voted almost exclusively along party lines to impeach Trump, alleging that he abused his power by pressing the Ukrainian government to investigate a political opponent and that he obstructed Congress in lawmakers’ probe into his actions.
It’s unclear whether a Senate trial on the two articles of impeachment will have already taken place by the Feb. 4 date or if it will be ongoing.
Pelosi has not yet sent over the articles to the Senate for a trial, saying that Democrats want to know the parameters of a trial — such as whether or not there will be witnesses called — before appointing the lawmakers who will serve as impeachment managers.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) did not reach a deal on a trial before leaving Thursday for the holidays.
The early February date would also place Trump’s address a day after the Iowa caucuses, when Democrats are battling for support as the first ballots are cast in the presidential primary.
Trump will be able to tout at least some recent bipartisan notches in his State of the Union address, including the House passage this week of the amended trade pact with Mexico and Canada. The Senate is expected to take up the trade deal in the new year.
The president is also expected to sign bills into law later Friday to fund the government and authorize defense programs that include provisions to establish a Space Force, 12 weeks of paid parental leave for federal workers and a raise in the minimum age to buy tobacco to 21.