Politics & Government

State House speaker invites Trump to give his State of the Union in North Carolina

Trump highlights immigration ‘compromise’ during 2018 State of the Union

President Trump outlined his immigration plan during his first State of the Union in 2018,
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President Trump outlined his immigration plan during his first State of the Union in 2018,

Updated Jan. 22 with developments.

Rebuffed by one House speaker, President Donald Trump is invited to give his State of the Union speech in North Carolina by state House Speaker Tim Moore.

Moore on Friday released a letter inviting the president to North Carolina to give the speech in the state House chamber.

“I attended your first State of the Union address in Washington D.C. last year,” Moore wrote. “It was an unforgettable experience to witness this tradition of our commander-in-chief’s speech to a joint session of Congress.

“I also believe taking your message outside of the nation’s gilded capital to a state government venue reflects the priorities of your administration, and those of our Congress, to create success not only for federal institutions and programs but for the American people they serve.”

Moore’s office said in a Tuesday news release that Trump called him Monday night.

“President Trump said he was appreciative of the invitation and supported what we are doing here in North Carolina for our economy,” Moore said in the news release.

Meanwhile, Politico and CNN reported Monday that the White House was planning for Trump to deliver his speech at the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had asked Trump to postpone his speech planned for Jan. 29, citing the government shutdown, the Associated Press and other news organizations reported.

Presidents typically deliver the State of the Union address from the U.S. House chamber.

The North Carolina Democratic Party responded with a statement from executive director Kimberly Reynolds, who said Moore is using the invitation as a distraction from news that the FBI questioned a Republican legislator about Moore’s private legal work, as The News & Observer reported.

“We know Speaker Moore is desperate to distract from today’s news that the FBI is looking into his shady ethics, but he should be using his office to advocate for those hurt by the government shutdown not push a political stunt,” Reynolds’ statement said. “This shutdown is hurting people trying to recover from recent hurricanes and forcing schools to ration our kid’s lunches, and every North Carolina public official should be working to end it today.”

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Lawmakers convened Wednesday for their organizational session. Roughly a fifth of the 120-member House will take their seats for the first time this year.

Lynn Bonner has worked at The News & Observer since 1994, and has written about the state legislature and politics since 1999. Contact her at lbonner@newsobserver.com or (919) 829-4821.
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