United States shutdown: Trump defies Pelosi over Congress speech

President Donald Trump says he is not surprised about the move

JACQUELYN MARTIN APPresident Donald Trump says he is not surprised about the move

"Look, I think physical barriers are part of the solution", Steny Hoyer, the number two House Democrat, told Fox News.

The longest government shutdown in US history is guaranteed to continue at least a bit longer.

Having initially said the speech should be "on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location", he conceded overnight that he could not deliver on his pledge. Pelosi suggested delivering the address on January 29.

Pelosi and other Democrats were saying Wednesday that they felt they had to "hold the line" against wall funding in the midst of a shutdown, so as to not encourage Trump to try it again.

Pelosi quickly squelched the speech, writing back that the House "will not consider a concurrent resolution authorising the President's State of the Union address in the House Chamber until government has opened".

Many lawmakers speculated that Trump was exploring different venues after he tweeted about options for delivering the address.

By late afternoon, after Pelosi had rebuffed him, Trump seemed resigned to finding an alternative venue or perhaps not giving a speech at all.

Earlier on Wednesday, Trump tried to brush aside Pelosi's concerns and said he planned to deliver the address before the US Congress as scheduled next Tuesday. Pelosi- then responding with her own letter- officially cancelling it.adding: I look forward to welcoming you to the house. "This is her prerogative - I will do the Address when the Shutdown is over", Trump said in a tweet Wednesday.

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A competing proposal by Senate Democrats that would open government through February 8 without funding Trump's wall, and leave room for border security negotiations, was also expected to fail.

Economists have told NBC News that an extended government shutdown could be catastrophic for the economy, as well as for the nearly 40 million Americans who would lose food stamps and 2 million people who could lose rental assistance.

But there is no precedent for a State of the Union invitation being rescinded.

In this game of who would blink first in this shutdown showdown, it was, perhaps surprisingly, President Trump. "Great, great disgusting mark", Trump said.

"There's no excuse for Senate Republicans not to pass this legislation", Pelosi told reporters, referring to the Democratic plan.

Trump has repeatedly claimed that Republicans are unified in their effort to the build a border wall, and that it's the Democrats who are breaking apart on the issue.

The Senate votes have the potential to break the impasse, but since each requires 60 votes to advance in the 100-member chamber, their passage is unlikely.

Kellyanne Conway, Mr Trump's counsellor, had said it would be "remarkably petty" for Ms Pelosi to deny Mr Trump entry to the House.

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The move directly ran counter to a suggestion made by Pelosi on January 16 for Trump to postpone the address until the government shutdown ended, or submit the address in writing to Congress.

"I love hearing what presidents have to say, what priorities they set, how the theatrics of Congress applauding..."

The traditional invitation to the president had gone out before the shutdown began.

Watch the video below:"President Trump and I are great friends, and I know he's got his hands full with probably the silliest and most ridiculous stuff I've ever seen in my life".

He also rejected suggestions that he could deliver the speech from the White House or another location.

Trump, who slammed Pelosi as a radical Democrat on Wednesday, has said he would not sign spending bills unless they include $5.7 billion for sections of the wall.

Last week the president cancelled a flight Pelosi had been scheduled to take on a USA military plane just hours before she and several other lawmakers were set to travel to Afghanistan to visit United States troops.

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