© Matthew Dae Smith/Lansing State Journal

Michigan House Speaker Invites Trump To Deliver State Of The Union In Lansing

I'm not as interested in partisan politics," Chatfield said.

January 18, 2019 - 8:16 pm
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(AP/WWJ) -- As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has asked President Donald Trump to postpone his State of the Union address, the Speaker of Michigan's House says his chamber is available.

Michigan State House Speaker Lee Chatfield wrote a letter to Trump, inviting him to deliver the speech from Lansing, saying "Washington may be bogged down with partisan politics, but Michigan is different."

The State of the Union speech could become a casualty of the partial government shutdown after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked President Donald Trump to postpone his Jan. 29 address.

Pelosi is citing concerns about whether the hobbled government can provide adequate security, but Republicans are casting her move as a ploy to deny Trump the stage.

Pelosi says that with both the Secret Service and the Homeland Security Department entangled in the shutdown, the president should speak to Congress another time or he should deliver the address in writing.

Chatfield, a Republican from Levering, Mich., says Trump needds to be able to talk to the country about the ongoing shutdown.

"The time is now that we need to hear from the President of the United States and to hear what his plan is to negotiate and to cooperate and to pull people together, whether Republican or Democrat," Chatfield told WWJ. "And I'm not as interested in partisan politics. And here in the state of Michigan, even Republicans, we understand that the success of Gov. Whitmer means the success of the state of Michigan."

Chatfield says Washington needs to have that same mindset.

While he thinks there's a slim chance the president will accept his offer to deliver the speech from Michigan's House chamber, it sends a significant message to both Republicans and Democrats in Washington.

"Even when I initially reached out, I thought it was slim at best," Chatfield said. "But to tell you the truth, I think it sends a strong message that Michigan is a state with a divided government, just like our country. And if we can find a way to come together, then so should Washington. And quite frankly, I hope other states follow suit and also make the offer to the prsident because we need to hear from the Commander in Chief."

Chatfield says while Republicans disagree with Gov. Whitmer on key issues, they have every intention of working with her to move the state forward in the coming legislative year.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.