Pelosi invites Trump to deliver State of the Union on Feb. 5
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday invited President Trump to give his State of the Union address on Feb. 5, putting the president on track to deliver his prime time speech to a nation still reeling from the longest federal shutdown in history and facing the prospect of a second one next month.
Trump sent a letter to Pelosi on Monday evening, saying it was his ‘‘great honor’’ to accept her invitation to deliver the address on Feb. 5.
‘‘We have a great story to tell and yet, great goals to achieve!’’ he said in the letter, which was released by the White House.
The government shutdown, though, will be a difficult issue to gloss over. According to Standard & Poor's, a financial rating company, the shutdown has cost the economy $6 billion -- more than the $5.7 billion Trump has demanded from taxpayers for a wall along the US-Mexico border. The impasse over funding for the wall led to the five-week partial shutdown.
Pelosi, who stood firm and got Trump to concede to reopen the government last week without funding for his wall, will be seated behind the president as he delivers his speech.
‘‘When I wrote to you on January 23rd, I stated that we should work together to find a mutually agreeable date when government has reopened to schedule this year’s State of the Union address,’’ Pelosi said in a letter to Trump on Monday.
‘‘In our conversation today, we agreed on February 5th,’’ she added. ‘‘Therefore, I invite you to deliver your State of the Union address before a Joint Session of Congress on February 5, 2019 in the House Chamber.’’
The annual speech to a joint session of Congress had been scheduled for Jan. 29, but Pelosi suggested to Trump that he postpone the address during the shutdown.
In retaliation, Trump canceled a trip by Pelosi and other House Democrats to Afghanistan. He later insisted he would deliver the speech, then relented after she said no.
A House Democratic leadership aide said Pelosi initiated Monday’s phone call with Trump.
The shutdown ended on Friday with Trump agreeing to temporarily reopen the government without any wall funding. The deal reopened the government through Feb. 15, meaning that Trump will be delivering his address as the threat of a second shutdown looms.
Trump is mulling declaring a national emergency if a bipartisan, bicameral congressional committee does not produce a deal that includes $5.7 billion in border wall funding.
‘‘The president’s commitment is to defend the nation, and he will do it either with or without Congress,’’ acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said on ‘‘Fox News Sunday.’’
Meanwhile, a report Monday by the Congressional Budget Office said the shutdown will cause slight permanent harm to the economy to the tune of about $3 billion. The report says that the shutdown has slowed growth in the near term but that most of the lost growth ‘‘will eventually be recovered.’’
Overall, CBO predicts that just $3 billion in lost gross domestic product will be permanently lost, a modest figure in a $20 trillion-plus economy. By year’s end, CBO says, GDP would be just 0.02 smaller because of the shutdown, which shuttered many domestic agencies. Mof the 800,000 furloughed federal workers returned to their jobs Monday.
More broadly, the report estimates a drop in GDP growth to 2.3 percent this year as the effects of Trump’s tax cut on business investment begin to drop off. It also says that the US budget deficit will hit $897 billion this year.
The CBO credits the 2017 tax bill — which cut corporate and individual income taxes by $1.9 trillion over a decade — with a burst in growth last year, but it says that this year ‘‘the boost that recent tax legislation gave to business wanes.’’
The CBO says the shutdown will have a modest negative impact on the economy, lowering projections of economic growth by 0.4 percentage point to 2.1 percent in the first quarter, though the economy is expected to mostly make up for it over the rest of the year.
‘‘The shutdown dampened economic activity mainly because of the loss of furloughed federal workers’ contribution to (gross domestic product), the delay in federal spending on goods and services, and the reduction in aggregate demand,’’ the report said.
‘‘Underlying those effects on the overall economy are much more significant effects on individual businesses and workers,’’ CBO said. ‘‘Among those who experienced the largest and most direct negative effects are federal workers who faced delayed compensation and private-sector entities that lost business. Some of those private-sector entities will never recoup that lost income.’’
The report lands in a divided Washington, where neither Trump nor Democrats controlling the House are expected to make curbing the deficit a priority. In fact, Trump and lawmakers are likely to increase spending for the Pentagon and other federal agencies, which would otherwise face cuts from outdated budget caps that are the remnant of the 2011 budget deal. And Congress is ultimately going to face pressure to make permanent provisions of the 2017 tax cuts for individuals that would otherwise expire in 2025.
Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.