House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter on January 16, 2019 to President Trump asking him to reschedule his upcoming State of the Union because of security concerns:
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.
Speaker Pelosi’s political gambit to link the security of the State of the Union to the government shutdown was immediately spiked by a “can do” tweet sent out by DHS Secretary Nielson:
The Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union.
We thank the Service for their mission focus and dedication and for all they do each day to secure our homeland.
Additionally, yesterday there was pure public buffoonery between Speaker Pelosi (D-CA), third in line of succession to the Presidency, and her Democrat Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD).
As public events just showed —Speaker Pelosi sent the President a letter then Representative Hoyer publically states that the State of The Union—“is off.”
But no wait Congressman Hoyer admits he did not read the letter.
Instead, he went; “ready fire aim.”
Imagine that he did not even read the letter, when he began to definitively bloviate:
A representative for Hoyer told INSIDER he had “not read Speaker Pelosi’s letter and mischaracterized it” when he told CNN that the State of the Union address “is off.”
Consequently, if the two most powerful leaders in the House of Representative cannot even coordinate a one page letter it is no wonder that In discussing “security concerns” both Speaker Pelosi and her Democrat Majority Leader Hoyer overlooked that they also have a huge leadership role in Capitol Hill security
To insinuate that security concerns should stop the State Of The Union without even consideration of the successful security role of the Capital Police is a significant oversight.
The Capital Police day in a day out guard and protect all who are in the Capital.
DHS and specifically the Secret Service have the lead in protecting their Principals but the great and often unheralded but always successful addition to a safe and secure event on Capitol Hill is a direct tribute to the courage and professionalism of the Capital Police.
Speaker Pelosi should have known that when she tried to play politics with the shut down on security grounds.
We can look back and get a clear sense of the quality of the Capital Police Force.
For example, on July 24 1998, Capital Police officer Jacob Chestnut and Detective John Gibson were killed by a paranoid schizophrenic Russell Wilson.
Wilson survived his being shot by Detective Gibson and is still in a mental institution having been never brought to trial.
For those of us working in the Capital that day the debt of gratitude to the fallen offices is incalculable.
To be clear, I was working that day in the Capital..
As shots rang out we all were told barricade oneself in our offices.
My Rules Committee Office was one floor below the running gun battle.
In essence a “shelter in place” security protocol was enacted because in the “fog” of the moment for it wasn’t known if it was more than one gunman until the all clear was passed along.
Days later we all paid our utmost respect to Officer Chestnut and Detective Gibson as their coffins were placed in honor in the Capitol Rotunda.
July 24, 1998 was truly a day of unselfish heroism and also great tragedy for the Capital Police.
Sadly a few years later 9/11 changed the course of American history as our symbols of financial power in NYC and the US Government were targeted by terrorists.
The response from the legislative branch was to build additional security barriers and create a new impressive Capital Visitors Center.
Concurrently, the Capital Police assisted by the District Police pushed out from the Capital a security zone covering many square blocks of historic homes on Capitol Hill.
That successful effort turned the trend away from homes and business on Capitol Hill following the ever increasing mean streets of Chicago into family friendly neighborhoods.
So please stop overlooking the Executive/Legislative security partnership supported by your own Police Force when playing politics Madam Speaker.
It is both petty and wrong.