Politics

Pelosi Announces State Of The Union Date, First Ever In March

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi formally invited President Joe Biden Friday to give his State of the Union address March 1, the latest date ever announced for the annual speech.

During the address, Biden will likely promote the two most important unfinished parts of his first-term agenda, the Build Back Better social spending package and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Presidents are expected to deliver an address to a joint session of Congress every year, although the speech is not considered the State of the Union until the president’s second year in office. Biden addressed a joint session of Congress on April 28, 2021, during which he advocated gun control and his American Jobs and Families plans.

“Thank you for your bold vision and patriotic leadership which have guided America out of crisis and into an era of great progress, as we not only recover from the pandemic but Build Back Better!” Pelosi wrote in the invitation. “Indeed, this past year has been historic: with the life-saving American Rescue Plan, once-in-a-century Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and, soon, the truly transformational Build Back Better Act!”

Both the Build Back Better Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act are unlikely to pass anytime soon, with Build Back Better lacking support from Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. Although all 50 Democratic senators support the elections legislation, Manchin and Sinema have repeatedly emphasized that they will not support eliminating the filibuster to pass it. (RELATED: ‘They Know The Real Reason’: Manchin Fires Back At The White House After Gloves-Off Statement Criticizes His Opposition To BBB)

Republicans will have the opportunity to offer a rebuttal to Biden’s address, and that speech is often given to a politician considered a rising star in the opposing party. Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott gave the rebuttal to Biden’s joint address in 2021, during which he objected to Democratic characterizations of America as racist and accused Biden of failing to unify the country. Scott faced racist attacks from left-wing commentators and officials, with a Texas Democratic Party official later resigning.

White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed later Friday that Biden would give the State of the Union on the date offered by Pelosi.