Biden To Deliver State Of The Union Address On March 1

US President Joe Biden will deliver the traditional State of the Union (SOTU) address March 1, the White House said Friday, as the Democrat struggles to tame Covid-19 and get his stalled legislative agenda through Congress.

March is later than usual for the annual address, which a president typically delivers 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 as in other countries and the presidential address is usually given to a packed audience of both chambers of Congress and many VIP guests.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote the president Friday formally inviting him to “address a Joint Session of Congress” on March 1 and share his vision for the country.

Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters the president had accepted the invitation.

The delayed SOTU provides Biden with additional time to confront the Covid-19 pandemic — whose resurgence is creating new headaches for the economy and heaping pressure on an already overburdened health care system — and find fresh momentum for his landmark domestic policy package.

Biden’s so-called Build Back Better plan — which includes over a trillion dollars in funding for child care, senior care, education, and climate change mitigation — has stalled in the Senate, due to the current opposition by one member of Biden’s own Democratic Party.

The planned date for President Joe Biden's State of the Union address, on March 1, 2022, is later than usual -- likely due to the pandemic The planned date for President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, on March 1, 2022, is later than usual — likely due to the pandemic Photo: AFP / MANDEL NGAN

The president also hopes to pass landmark voter rights legislation at a time when Democrats accuse Republicans of seeking to restrict voting options in several states.

If he does find a way to push the reforms through, the State of the Union address would provide him with a major platform to tout the wins to the American public.

The speech comes with a backdrop of low approval ratings for the 79-year-old Biden and looming November midterm elections, in which the president’s party almost always loses seats in Congress.

It also puts additional distance between the speech and the January 6 anniversary of last year’s insurrection at the US Capitol, where a furious mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed Congress, hoping to block certification of Biden’s 2020 election win.

On Thursday in the Capitol, Biden delivered a scathing speech accusing Trump of spreading election “lies” and denouncing him as a threat to American democracy.

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