Jan 7, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Biden to give State of the Union on March 1


Biden speaks during a joint session of Congress on April 28, 2021. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden will deliver his State of the Union address to Congress on March 1.

Why it matters: The news comes as Biden tries to shepherd several major pieces of legislation through Congress this year, including a multitrillion dollar social spending package and a comprehensive election reform bill.

What they're saying: "Thank you for your bold vision and patriotic leadership which have guided America out of crisis and into an era of great progress," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wrote in a letter to Biden, inviting him to give the speech.

  • Pelosi cited the coronavirus relief and infrastructure bills as examples of Biden's accomplishments, expressing hope that his social spending package will pass "soon."
  • White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Friday that Biden had accepted the invitation.

The big picture: This would be the first time a president has delivered a State of the Union address, or the historical equivalent of one, in March, according to the U.S. House historian.

  • Most modern addresses have taken place in January or February.
  • The late date gives Congress more time to work on Biden's agenda before he delivers his speech.

What we're watching: Biden's speech to a joint session of Congress last year was heavily restricted due to coronavirus, with only around 200 people allowed in the chamber. It's not clear whether those or similar restrictions will be in place this year.

  • The speech is nearly two months away, but the Capitol's attending physician earlier this week warned offices of a sharp spike in positive cases due to the Omicron variant.

Editor's note: This post has been updated to show the White House accepted Pelosi's invitation.

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