Republican Congressman Mo Brooks released a statement Wednesday in the wake of Speaker Nancy Pelosi telling President Donald Trump that the House would not authorize a State of the Union speech while the government was shut down.
In the statement, Brooks called Pelosi’s action “unprecedented” and “radical.” It read, in part, “Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s first-time-in-history cancellation of a president’s State of the Union address shows how radical and hyper-partisan the Democrats have become and undermines bipartisanship at a time America needs it the most. This unprecedented attempt to muffle the President may appease the radical, Socialist base of the Democrat Party, but it hurts America and symbolizes how dysfunctional a Socialist Democrat House of Representatives has made Washington.”
Brooks also reintroduced the EL CHAPO (Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act) Wednesday, a companion to a bill introduced by Ted Cruz in the Senate. This legislation would set aside $14 billion forfeited to the United States as a result of prosecuting drug cartel leaders including El Chapo, and using those funds to build the border wall. In a statement, Brooks said this would help to end the shutdown. “Congress should end the shutdown by passing the EL CHAPO Act that, over time, funds border security and a border wall by using billions of dollars in seized drug and blood money profits from drug cartels and drug lords and reapplying those drug forfeiture monies to border security and construction of a border wall.”
Should the shutdown continue, the Congressman has suggested another solution. Last week, Brooks was one of several members of Congress who proposed the speech be moved to the Senate. At that time, he said “I most strongly encourage Vice-President Mike Pence, in his Constitutional capacity as the presiding officer of the Senate, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to invite President Trump to report to the American people on the state of the union in the Senate Chamber. While traditionally these addresses have been held in the House Chamber due to its larger size, inasmuch as House Democrats apparently do not want to hear from the President anyway, overcrowding of the Senate chamber should not be an issue. I urge President Trump, Vice-President Pence (as President of the Senate), and Leader McConnell to maintain January 29, 2019 as the date on which President Trump can address the American people from the Senate Chamber, thus putting President Trump with our first president, George Washington, who also gave his first State of the Union address in the Capitol’s Senate Chamber.”