Biden's address to Congress

Wednesday, 28 April, 2021 - 23:26

President Biden on Wednesday will give a primetime address to a joint session of Congress, marking the biggest speech of his presidency so far and giving him the opportunity to lay out his agenda for the rest of his time in office.

Biden's address also comes on the eve of his 100th day in office, giving him the chance to reflect on what's been a busy few months, including a coronavirus stimulus, a subsequent spending plan that he proposed and partisan battles over immigration.

Biden is also expected to lay out a proposal for yet another spending bill, which he will call the "American Families Plan." This will be a follow-up to his "American Jobs Plan," which the White House has sold as an infrastructure bill, and the "American Rescue Plan," which was a stimulus aimed at providing relief from the coronavirus pandemic.

Here's what to know about Biden's address to a joint session of Congress.

When is it?

Biden will speak at 9 p.m. You can watch the address live on Fox News Channel and FoxNews.com.

Where is it?

Biden's address will take place in the House chamber in the U.S. Capitol, where such addresses are usually held.

Why is it not the State of the Union?

Presidents who recently assumed office deliver an address to a joint session of Congress rather than a State of the Union. This is because they have not been in office for very long.

Biden's speech, however, is taking place later than most new presidents in recent years. Former President Trump, for example, spoke on Feb. 28, 2017.

The delay is largely attributable to the security situation at the Capitol after the Jan. 6 riot and the coronavirus pandemic.

Why is the speech happening?

The president is required by the Constitution to "from time to time give to the Congress Information on the State of the Union."

The speech is not a requirement. Some past presidents have given their updates in writing. President Woodrow Wilson brought back the tradition of giving a speech to Congress in 1913 after no president had done the same since Thomas Jefferson.

Calvin Coolidge was the first president to have his address to Congress broadcast on the radio, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the first to call it the "State of the Union."

President Harry Truman was the first to deliver the address on television, and Lyndon Johnson the first to deliver it in primetime in 1964.

Who will be there?

Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will be the most prominently visible attendees, sitting behind Biden in the chamber, as is traditional for such addresses.

Many members of Congress will not be able to be at the speech, however, due to coronavirus protocols.

Calvin Coolidge was the first president to have his address to Congress broadcast on the radio, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the first to call it the "State of the Union."

President Harry Truman was the first to deliver the address on television, and Lyndon Johnson the first to deliver it in primetime in 1964.

Who will be there?

Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will be the most prominently visible attendees, sitting behind Biden in the chamber, as is traditional for such addresses.

Many members of Congress will not be able to be at the speech, however, due to coronavirus protocols.

Among the Republicans who will be there are Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rick Scott, R-Fla., will also be in attendance.

Some House members who will be there are Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., however, will not be at the event. Nor will Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Josh Hawley, R-Mo., or Tom Cotton, R-Ark.

Among Democrats, Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Chris Coons, D-Del., John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., Jon Ossoff., D-Ga., Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., and several others will attend. There will be 35 Democratic senators at the address in all – well over half of their caucus.

Chief Justice John Roberts will be the only member of the Supreme Court present. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will be the only Cabinet members present.

There are only expected to be about 200 people in the House chamber total, including 80 House members and 60 senators.

Normally, there are about 1,600 people at presidential addresses like this one.

Source: Fox News