Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen responded to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s assertion that her department and the Secret Service are ill-prepared to secure the top government officials during the State of the Union.
Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Wednesday, asking him to postpone his address slated for Jan. 29 or deliver it in writing due to the government shutdown. Pelosi said a lack of funding for the agencies has led to “security concerns.”
Nielsen pushed back, saying both agencies are ready to do their jobs, regardless of whether they’re being paid.
“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,” Nielsen tweeted.
Nielsen’s comments are the administration’s first public response to Pelosi’s letter.
In her letter, Pelosi pointed out that Secret Service agents and other personnel responsible for securing the speech are not being, and argued it could pose a security risk.
“Sadly, given the security concerns and unless the government reopens this week, I suggest we work together to determine another suitable date after the government has reopened for this address,” she wrote.