LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/CBS News) – U.S. Congressman and House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) was among several Democratic leaders who were aboard a bus headed to the airport for a congressional trip overseas when they were told their trip was called off due to the federal government shutdown.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was also scheduled to depart Thursday, was sent a letter from President Donald Trump informing her that the planned trip to “Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan” was postponed “in light of the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay.”
In the letter, Trump said Pelosi could still use commercial transportation for the trip.
“Due to the shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed,” Mr. Trump wrote. “We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the shutdown is over. In light of the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay, I am sure that you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate.”
Video posted on social media appeared to show Schiff disembarking one of the buses scheduled to take the delegation to Andrews Base for the trip, according to CBS News.
“Disputes over border security don’t requires a shutdown of the government to resolve,” Schiff said late Thursday. “Whether this kind of fifth-grade conduct is going to contribute, it’s hard to see how it’s very constructive.”
But House Minority Leader and California Rep. Kevin McCarthy had a different view.
“Why would you want to go overseas when the government’s shut down, with people missing their paychecks?” McCarthy said.
A spokesperson said Pelosi was scheduled to travel to Afghanistan with a required stop in Brussels for pilot rest. She planned to meet with NATO commanders and U.S. military leaders before heading to Afghanistan to personally thank members of the U.S. military.
The move comes a few weeks after the president traveled to Iraq in December after the federal shutdown began, and one day after Pelosi called on Trump to postpone his Jan. 29 State of the Union speech until the shutdown is resolved.