Opinion

Democrats Should Have Postponed Their Vacations, Not The State of the Union

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Posted: Jan 22, 2019 1:33 PM
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Democrats Should Have Postponed Their Vacations, Not The State of the Union

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to postpone the State of the Union address because of the government shutdown, even though Democrats haven’t let the border security impasse interfere with their vacation plans. 

In an effort to appear concerned about furloughed government workers, Pelosi recently asked President Trump to postpone his State of the Union (SOTU) address until the shutdown is resolved, or else deliver it to Congress in writing. 

"Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that 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 29th," Pelosi wrote in a letter.

Her political stunt was instantly praised by the Democrats, with the liberal media gleefully labeling it a “power move” against the White House and proclaiming that Pelosi has the President “outmatched.”

Within hours of making her letter public, however, Pelosi was already backtracking on her supposed “security concerns,” saying she is confident that Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security can provide adequate security for the SOTU. Her real motivation for sending the letter, Pelosi now says, was concern for the people who would be required to protect the Capitol during the address without pay.

Yet, that concern didn’t stop Pelosi from trying to sneak out of Washington with other Democrat lawmakers for a week-long trip to the Middle East, a trip that was only canceled after President Trump refused to grant them access to military aircraft.

In fact, Pelosi and her fellow Democrats haven’t even allowed their anxiety over the shutdown’s impact on federal workers to stop them from abandoning the Capitol and traveling to exotic locales.

Just recently, for instance, 30 Democrat lawmakers forgot all about the government shutdown and headed to Puerto Rico for a weekend of recreation.

According to The Washington Examiner, the Democrats were joined by 109 lobbyists and corporate executives for a scheduled winter retreat at “a seaside resort” in San Juan that included three different parties and a showing of Broadway’s “Hamilton.” Throughout the event, Democrat lawmakers were pictured sunbathing on the beach, attending fancy cocktail parties, and schmoozing with various lobbyists..

Democrat leaders, it turns out, don’t give a fig about the government shutdown or the workers impacted by the border security impasse.

After all, Pelosi could have simply asked her Democrat colleagues to postpone their retreat until the shutdown is resolved, just as she asked President Trump to do with his SOTU address.

Sadly, the Speaker didn’t make a peep, possibly because she knew she couldn’t get away with it after her own decision to take a Christmas vacation in Hawaii while the shutdown was in full swing. 

Pelosi’s SOTU stunt is even more disingenuous in light of the fact that she herself has been the main obstacle to achieving a deal that would end the partial government shutdown.

Despite pledging shortly after the 2018 midterm elections to find “common ground” with Republicans and try to “compromise” with President Trump, and subsequently stating that Democrats would be willing to negotiate a deal on border security if the President signs a clean funding bill to re-open the government, Pelosi has adamantly refused to consider any proposal that includes funding for the border wall that is at the crux of the impasse.

She even turned down the President’s latest compromise offer before he had actually made it in a major address to the nation on Saturday, in which he outlined a four-point plan to secure the border and end the partial government shutdown.

In fact, it seems as though the only person trying to find common ground or pursue a compromise on this issue is President Trump, who has repeatedly invited the Democrats to discuss border security, even giving his opponents leeway to negotiate on the $5.7 billion he is seeking for a border wall. 

Congressional Democrats, however, flatly rejected the President’s first offer to meet with him at the White House, fearing that the optics of such a meeting would not favor them. Criticism of that decision likely motivated a small group of seven House Democrats to attend a different meeting the next day, but only after issuing a statement affirming that they remain committed to the obstructionist position staked out by their party’s leadership.

This is not what bipartisanship looks like.

Evidently, the Democrats’ top priority is to obstruct President Trump’s agenda — even if that means using federal workers as political pawns to accomplish their destructive objective.

Pelosi’s request to postpone the State of the Union doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously — if she and the other Democrats in Congress truly cared about re-opening the government, they would have been burning the midnight oil in Washington rather than partying at tropical resorts.  

Charlie Kirk is the founder and executive director of Turning Point USA, an advocacy group for young conservatives.