Speaker of the House John Boehner has requested that President Obama delay his September 7 speech before a joint session of Congress, which the president plans to use to unveil his new jobs plan, by one day.
The time that the president requested for the joint session, announced Wednesday, would have directly conflicted with a long-scheduled debate between GOP presidential contenders at the Reagan Library in California. In his letter, Boehner did not mention the debate but instead cited the time-crunch that would result from a September 7 joint session.
A concurrent vote is required by both chambers, and the date is the first day that the House is back in session, with voting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (RELATED: Ron Paul threatens to object to Obama’s job speech request)
“With the significant amount of time — typically more than three hours — that is required to allow for a security sweep of the House Chamber before receiving a President, it is my recommendation that your address be held on the following evening, when we can ensure there will be no parliamentary or logistical impediments that might detract from your remarks,” Boehner wrote in a letter to the president.
“As such, on behalf of the bipartisan leadership and membership of both the House and Senate, I respectfully invite you to address a Joint Session of Congress on Thursday, September 8, 2011 in the House Chamber, at a time that works best for your schedule,” the letter read.
But a September 8 date for the president’s speech would not be without its detractors. The NFL season starts that night at 8:30 p.m. EST, with the Packers playing the Saints.
The date debate has devolved into a back-and-forth game of he-said, she-said. The White House is insisting that it consulted Boehner’s office about the Sept. 7 date and that the Speaker’s office did not object, CBS News’ Mark Knoller reported Wednesday evening.
A spokesman for Boehner says that’s not true.
“No one in the Speaker’s office — not the Speaker, not any staff — signed off on the date the White House announced today,” Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said in a statement. “Unfortunately we weren’t even asked if that date worked for the House.”
“Shortly before it arrived this morning, we were simply informed that a letter was coming,” the statement read. “It’s unfortunate the White House ignored decades — if not centuries — of the protocol of working out a mutually agreeable date and time before making any public announcement.”