‘There is no higher loyalty or obligation than to the people we serve and the communities we represent, and no partisan gamesmanship should stand in the way of that service….’
(Chris Cioffi, CQ-Roll Call, and Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press) As President Donald Trump continues to clash with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D.-Calif., at least two state legislative leaders have his back.
On Wednesday, Pelosi, who is locked in a showdown with Trump over the funding he is demanding for a southern border wall, sent a letter to the president suggesting that the State of the Union address, scheduled for Jan. 29 in the House chamber in Washington, be postponed until after the shutdown ends or that he simply deliver it in writing.
On Friday, North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore invited President Donald Trump to give his State of the Union address at his state’s General Assembly chambers in Raleigh. Michigan’s new House speaker, Rep. Lee Chatfield, likewise offered up the House chamber in its state capitol of Lansing.
“There is no higher loyalty or obligation than to the people we serve and the communities we represent, and no partisan gamesmanship should stand in the way of that service. Because of that, this chamber and this speaker are willing to put people before politics for this important occasion,” Chatfield, wrote in a letter to White House.
“[We] are ready and available to host you at your convenience,” he added.
Moore’s letter said North Carolina would be a great backdrop for the address, and he mentioned that Bill Clinton addressed the body in 1997 during his term as president.
“North Carolina, like Washington D.C., has a balanced government that provides opportunity for all voices to be heard through dialogue rather than division,” Moore said in the letter.
Both North Carolina’s House of Representatives and Senate are controlled by Republicans. The governor, Roy Cooper, is a Democrat.
“The majestic character of our state House chamber and the splendor of North Carolina’s breathtaking landscapes are a fitting venue to deliver your second State of the Union address,” Moore said.
As with North Carolina, Chatfield noted in his letter to the White House that Michigan has “divided government” with a Democratic governor and a GOP Legislature but that “Republicans in Michigan understand that the success of our Democratic governor means the success of Michigan. Even though we will disagree, we will always work together to improve the lives of our local families and seniors because we have a solemn responsibility to do so.”
“However,” he continued, “because some have chosen to stand in the way of your official duties, we would be honored to host you in our Capitol for this necessary address to our nation.”
The Democratic leader in Michigan’s House of Representatives, Rep. Christine Greig of Farmington Hills, suggested the state House speaker and local politicians should stay out of the fight between the federal branches of government.
“At a time when Michigan is focused on building bridges, we should not allow ourselves to be distracted by partisan gamesmanship,” she said in a statement.
“Instead of inviting Washington’s dysfunction to Lansing, I am ready to work with the speaker and Gov. [Gretchen] Whitmer to focus on the things that matter to Michigan families—fixing the roads, lowering healthcare costs and cleaning up our water.”
(Detroit Free Press staff writer Paul Egan and Liberty Headlines’ Ben Sellers contributed to this report.)
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