Speaker Pelosi apparently forgot she also has a police force
House speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter on January 16, 2019 to President Trump asking him to reschedule his upcoming State of the Union because of security concerns:
Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th.
Speaker Pelosi's political gambit to link the security of the State of the Union to the government shutdown was immediately spiked by a "can do" tweet sent out by DHS secretary Nielson:
The Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union. We thank the Service for their mission focus and dedication and for all they do each day to secure our homeland.
The Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union. We thank the Service for their mission focus and dedication and for all they do each day to secure our homeland.— Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen (@SecNielsen) January 16, 2019
Additionally, yesterday, there was pure public buffoonery between Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.), third in line of succession to the presidency, and her Democrat majority leader, Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). After Speaker Pelosi sent the President her letter, Representative Hoyer publicly stated that the State of the Union "is off."
But wait! Congressman Hoyer then admitted that he did not read the letter. He used the saying "Ready...fire...aim" in making his comment.
A representative for Hoyer told INSIDER he had "not read Speaker Pelosi's letter and mischaracterized it" when he told CNN that the State of the Union address "is off."
If the two most powerful leaders in the House of Representative cannot even coordinate a one-page letter, it is no wonder that in discussing "security concerns," both Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer overlooked that they also have a huge leadership role in Capitol Hill security.
To insinuate that security concerns should stop the State of the Union without even consideration of the successful security role of the Capitol Police is a significant oversight. The Capitol Police day-in-and-day-out guard and protect all who are in the Capitol.
DHS, and specifically the Secret Service, have the lead in protecting their principals, but their great and often unheralded (but always successful) addition to a safe and secure event on Capitol Hill is a direct tribute to the courage and professionalism of the Capitol Police. Speaker Pelosi should have known that when she tried to play politics with the shutdown
On July 24, 1998, Capitol Police officer Jacob Chestnut and Detective John Gibson were killed by a paranoid schizophrenic, Russell Wilson. Wilson survived his being shot by Detective Gibson and is still in a mental institution, having never been brought to trial. For those of us working in the Capitol that day, the debt of gratitude to the fallen officers is incalculable. I was working that day in the Capitol.
As shots rang out, we all were told to barricade oneself in our offices. My Rules Committee office was one floor below the running gun battle. In essence, a "shelter in place" security protocol was enacted because in the "fog" of the moment it wasn't known if it was more than one gunman until the all-clear was passed along.
Days later, we all paid our utmost respect to Officer Chestnut and Detective Gibson as their coffins were placed in honor in the Capitol Rotunda. July 24, 1998 was truly a day of unselfish heroism and also great tragedy for the Capitol Police.
Sadly, a few years later, 9/11 changed the course of American history, as our symbols of financial power in New York City and the U.S. Government were targeted by terrorists. The response from the Legislative Branch was to build additional security barriers and create a new, impressive Capitol Visitors Center. Concurrently, the Capitol Police assisted by the District Police pushed out from the Capitol a security zone covering many square blocks of historic homes on Capitol Hill.
So, Madame Speaker, please stop overlooking the Executive-Legislative security partnership supported by your own Police Force when playing politics. It is just petty and wrong.