Kevin McCarthy Formally Invites Biden To Give State Of The Union Address

Photos by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy on Friday formally invited President Joe Biden to give the State of the Union address Feb. 7.

“The American people sent us to Washington to deliver a new direction for the country, to find common ground, and to debate their priorities. In that spirit, it is my solemn obligation to invite you to speak before a Joint Session of Congress on Tuesday, February 7, 2023 so that you may fulfill your duty under the Constitution to report on the state of the union. Your remarks will inform our efforts to address the priorities of the American people,” McCarthy wrote in a letter to the president.

During his previous two addresses to Congress, Biden focused on job creation and gun control. Republican Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert heckled the president over the deaths of 13 American soldiers during the Afghanistan withdrawal during his 2022 speech. (RELATED: Pelosi Announces State Of The Union Date, First Ever In March)

The Constitution requires the president to “give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” George Washington was the first president to give an in-person State of the Union address, and Woodrow Wilson revived the practice in 1913.

Several Republican lawmakers skipped his 2022 speech rather than take COVID-19 tests. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi eliminated the House’s mask mandate shortly before the 2022 State of the Union, while Republicans eliminated other restrictions in the 118th Congress’s rules package.