If the standoff over the government shutdown is a game of poker, it looks like Donald Trump just raised the stakes.
In an unexpected move on Thursday, the president gave a last-minute notice that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip overseas has been canceled, just an hour before she was planning to depart.
According to Fox News, Pelosi and other members of Congress were set to take off on a whirlwind tour that would take them to Europe and the Middle East. But just as the Democratic leader was settling in for her flight, the president pulled the plug.
“Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed. We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over,” President Trump wrote in an official letter published online.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 17, 2019
The commander in chief was able to stop the trip because Pelosi and her entourage were planning to use military aircraft.
“In light of the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay, I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate,” the president continued.
He made it clear that forcing Pelosi to negotiate with him to reach an agreement on border security and end the government shutdown was his motivation for the last-minute play.
“I also feel that, during this period, it would be better if you were in Washington negotiating with me and joining the Strong Border Security movement to end the Shutdown. Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative,” Trump wrote.
There also seems to be a specific strategy behind Trump’s power play. The president may be pressuring Democrats to put their money where they mouth is, so to speak, when it comes to finding a compromise so currently sidelined federal workers can receive paychecks.
“A source told Fox News that when moving to cancel the flight, the White House reasoned that the trip would keep Pelosi out of the country beyond next Tuesday night — when the next government pay period would occur,” the outlet reported.
The move will no doubt be painted as petty by the media and the left, but it appears to be completely within the president’s powers as commander in chief.
Additionally, it was Pelosi herself who continued the game of one-upmanship with Trump by suggesting that he not deliver the traditional State of the Union address at the Capitol, which is scheduled to occur later this month.
“The president has been slated to deliver his message to a Joint Session of Congress on Jan. 29, but Pelosi urged the president to delay his delivery until the government reopens, or deliver the address in writing,” summarized Fox.
Pelosi cited supposed security concerns as her reason the State of Union be delayed until the government is reopened.
Two can play at that game. While the decision by Trump will infuriate liberals, it’s perfectly in tune with how he presented himself to voters when he was elected: A tough negotiator who is willing to pressure his opponents instead of caving.
Whether Republicans or Democrats blink first remains to be seen, but it definitely looks like the left may have underestimated the president’s resolve.
Author: Benjamin Arie
Source: Westernjournal: Pelosi Tried To Cancel Trump’s SOTU, So Trump Just Canceled Her Exotic Overseas Trip