Published on: Amended:
Washington (AFP) – US President Joe Biden will deliver the traditional State of the Union Address (SOTU) on March 1, the White House said on Friday, as the Democrat struggles to tame Covid-19 and bring his legislative agenda to a standstill by Congress.
March is later than usual for the annual speech, which a president typically gives in late January or early February.
The timing is likely due to the pandemic: the Omicron variant is spreading like wildfire in the United States and other countries, and the presidential speech is usually delivered to a crowded audience from both houses of Congress and many VIP guests. .
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote to the president on Friday formally inviting him to “address a joint session of Congress” on March 1 and share her vision for the country.
Deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that the president had accepted the invitation.
Delayed SOTU gives Biden extra time to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic – the resurgence of which is creating new headaches for the economy and putting considerable strain on an already overburdened healthcare system – and finds a new momentum for its set of historic national policies.
Biden’s so-called Build Back Better plan – which includes more than $ 1 trillion in funding for child care, senior care, education, and climate change mitigation – has stalled at a standstill. Senate, due to current opposition from a Biden member. Democratic Party.
The president is also hoping to pass landmark voter rights legislation at a time when Democrats accuse Republicans of seeking to restrict voting options in several states.
If he finds a way to push through the reforms, the State of the Union discourse will provide him with a major platform to tout the victories to the American public.
The speech comes with a low approval rating for Biden, 79, and looming midterm elections in November, in which the president’s party almost always loses seats in Congress.
It also puts a further distance between the speech and the Jan.6 anniversary of last year’s insurgency on the United States Capitol, where a furious mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed Congress, in hope to block certification of Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.
On Thursday on Capitol Hill, Biden gave a scathing speech accusing Trump of spreading election “lies” and denouncing him as a threat to American democracy.
© 2022 AFP