Pelosi asks Trump to delay State of the Union address

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Nancy Pelosi speaks after being elected the new speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., the United States, on Jan. 3, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday asked President Donald Trump to delay his State of the Union address scheduled for Jan. 29, since federal agencies designated to provide security for the event have not been funded due to the ongoing partial government shutdown.

"Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government reopens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has reopened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th," said Pelosi in a letter to Trump.

The U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security are leading federal agencies for security of the event.

There was no immediate response from the White House.

The shutdown, the longest one in U.S. modern history, stemmed from a budget standoff in which Trump requested 5.7 billion U.S. dollars for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but congressional Democrats rejected his demand.

Since the shutdown started on Dec. 22, the White House and the congressional Democratic leadership have held several rounds of negotiations over border security and wall funding, but all have ended in failure.

The shutdown has affected a quarter of federal agencies with about 800,000 federal workers furloughed or working without pay as a result. The White House estimates that the shutdown will likely reduce quarterly U.S. GDP by 0.1 percent every two weeks that it continues.

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