Johnson Sets Late Date for Biden's State of the Union

Speaker sends formal invitation to White House
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2024 1:23 PM CST
Johnson Picks March 7 for Biden's State of the Union
Speaker-elect Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, puts the gavel down before speaking at the Capitol in October.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

House Speaker Mike Johnson has extended the usual formal invitation to President Biden to deliver the State of the Union address, but it's a ways off. Johnson's letter, sent Saturday, sets March 7, a Thursday, for the event, Politico reports. Until now, March 1 is the latest in the year a State of the Union has been delivered; that was Biden's 2022 address. Last year, it was Feb. 7. This will be the latest a president has sketched his accomplishments and legislative goals for a joint session of Congress since Franklin Roosevelt restarted the practice in 1934, per the AP.

The speaker's letter refers to "this moment of great challenge for our country," and Biden will have lots to talk about. For one thing, deadlines are approaching for keeping government funded. The money will run out Jan. 19 for agencies that handle veterans, transportation, housing, agriculture, and energy programs. The Defense, State, and Homeland Security deadline is Feb. 2, per the AP. It will be a full week in presidential politics, as well; the Super Tuesday primaries will be held two days before the speech. This will be the first time Johnson has sat behind a president for a State of the Union address. (More State of the Union address stories.)

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