House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday invited President Biden to deliver his first State of the Union address to Congress on March 1, the latest date for the event in modern times.
In the invitation letter to Biden, Pelosi (D-Calif.) lavished praise on the president, thanking him for his “bold vision and patriotic leadership which have guided America out of crisis and into an era of great progress.”
The speaker also touted Biden’s stalled Build Back Better spending bill, calling it “truly transformational.”
Biden delivered remarks to a joint session of Congress last April laying out his agenda, but presidents are not considered to have delivered formal State of the Union addresses until after they have served one full year in office.
The White House did not immediately confirm whether the president would deliver his address on that date, but the acceptance of Pelosi’s invitation is believed to be a formality.
Every president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has delivered State of the Union addresses in person before a joint session of Congress. The speech is usually held in January or early February.
Prior to this year, the latest date for a State of the Union address was for the one delivered by Ronald Reagan on Feb. 6, 1985. Former President Donald Trump’s last two addresses took place on Feb. 5, 2019, and Feb. 4, 2020, shortly before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The reason for scheduling the address for such a late date was not immediately clear, nor did Pelosi’s letter say whether any COVID-induced restrictions — such as limited capacity — would be in place.