Hoyer: The State Of The Union Is "Not Officially Off"

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House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said Wednesday that the 2019 State of the Union address is "not officially off." Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released a statement earlier in the day advising President Trump to deliver the address from the Oval Office because of security concerns due to the government shutdown.

"I don’t think it’s officially off," Hoyer told FOX News' Bret Baier in an interview. "I had not seen the speaker's letter."

"What she suggests is a real security problem unless we’ve opened up the government," he said. "And we haven’t gotten a reply from the president and his thoughts. So it’s not officially off. No."





"The Homeland Security Secretary tweeted out the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Secret Service are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union," Baier told Hoyer.

"They suggest there’s not an issue here," the host added.

"I’ve heard that and we’ll see what the president has to say," the House Majority Leader said. "But obviously the speaker is absolutely correct. This is a very high security event, as you well know."

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS 'SPECIAL REPORT' HOST: Let’s talk about the shutdown and the Democratic Party perspective. House Majority Leader, Steny Hoyer joins us tonight. Mr. Leader, thanks for being here.

REP. STENY HOYER (D-MD), HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: Hi, Bret. Thanks a lot. Good to be with you.

BAIER: First of all, is the State of the Union officially off?

HOYER: No, I don’t think it’s officially off we -- I had not seen the speaker’s letter. What she suggests is a real security problem unless we’ve opened up the government. So -- and we haven’t gotten a reply from the president and his thoughts. So it’s -- it’s not officially off. No.

BAIER: So the Homeland Security Secretary tweeted out the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. 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 and secure our homeland. They suggest there’s not an issue here.

HOYER: Well, I -- I’ve heard that and we’ll see what the president has to say. But obviously the speaker is absolutely correct. This is a very high security event, as you well know.

You have all the Supreme Court, you have all the Cabinet, you have the vice president and the president, and the Speaker of the House and the majority leader and minority leaders of the United State Senate. So it’s -- it’s a very high security issue.

But the other thing from my perspective, Bret, is we are not to be doing business as usual with a government shutdown that has 800,000 of its people not getting paid, including everyone one of secret service agents that there would be assigned.

Now, it’s tough to believe that they’re on highest security alert when they’re concerned about whether they’re going to get a paycheck and be able to pay their mortgage. So from that standpoint, I think the speaker’s point was well taken and our position has been we ought to open up this government and then proceed with the business of government while it’s operating, not while its shutdown.


Pelosi letter:


On border security, Hoyer said the existing barriers "obviously work."

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