Dear MoveOn member,
Nancy Pelosi last week hit Donald Trump right where it hurts: in the ego.
Trump wants to hold his State of the Union address right on schedule during the shutdown, despite the fact that Trump's own Homeland Security chief says that "the full resources of the Federal Government" are necessary to ensure security at an event of this size.1
So Nancy Pelosi gave Trump the news. As long as the government is shut down, so is the State of the Union.
Of course, Trump lost his mind when he found out—he even canceled a Congressional overseas trip and then leaked the confidential itinerary in an act of juvenile spite! And Trump continues to resist reopening the government—just yesterday proposing an outrageous offer that he worked out with Mike Pence and Jared Kushner.2
Now Republicans—as well as right-wing media—are pressuring Pelosi to back down. So we're going to get her back by generating phone calls to Congress supporting her decision, urging the networks not to televise the speech if he tries to give it elsewhere during the shutdown, and continuing our all-out campaigning to reopen the government without one penny for Trump's racist, wasteful wall.
Can you chip in $3 to help stop Trump's shutdown State of the Union?
The government shutdown has caused 800,000 federal workers to go unpaid. Many of the workers who would need to staff the speech are on furlough. Forcing these federal employees to work unpaid just to stage a political speech for Trump would be a slap in the face.
Trump shut down all non-essential government services, and there could be nothing more "non-essential" than the State of the Union. Trump just took over the national airwaves two weeks ago to offer another helping of lies and vitriol—we've heard his broken record and don't need to hear it again.
More important, if Trump realizes that this shutdown has real consequences to him personally, he might finally end it and stop holding our nation hostage to get his wall.
So we're standing with Pelosi by mobilizing grassroots opposition to the shutdown State of the Union with phone calls and petitions to Congress. If the speech does go forward, we'll push networks to refuse to air his hateful lies, we'll press members of Congress to skip the speech, and we'll organize actions around the country and in D.C. that lift up the voices of workers, immigrants, and others impacted by the shutdown and Trump's racist antics to shine a spotlight on the real state of our union, to share our vision for tackling the challenges we face as a country, and to make sure Trump can't just own the news cycle with his lies and political spin. Will you chip in $3?
There's no requirement in the Constitution that the State of the Union address be given as a big speech on TV.
For most of U.S. history, the State of the Union was delivered in writing. More recently, Ronald Reagan postponed the speech because of the Challenger space shuttle explosion. FDR gave the speech as a radio address in 1944, and Truman delivered it in writing in 1946.3
As long as Trump is keeping the government closed for everyday Americans, it should be closed for his political speech-making. Will you chip in $3 to stand with Speaker Pelosi and say no to the State of the Union while the government is shut down?
Thanks for all you do.
–Anna, Stephen, Anne, Brian, and the rest of the team
1. "Pelosi's bold letter about postponing Trump's State of the Union, annotated," The Washington Post, January 16, 2019
2. "In Trump's Immigration Announcement, a Compromise Snubbed All Around," The New York Times, January 19, 2019
3. "Delivery of Speech," United States House of Representatives, accessed January 18, 2019
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