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Speaker Johnson extends March 7 invitation for Biden's State of the Union address 

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) sent a letter to President Biden Saturday formally extending an invitation for the 2024 State of the Union address.

In what would be the latest the address has been given since 1934, Johnson asked Biden to fulfill his obligation to address the House on Thursday, March 7.

“In this moment of great challenge for our country, it is my solemn duty to extend this invitation for you to address a Joint Session of Congress,” the Speaker wrote, adding “Thank you, and I look forward to your response.”

This will mark the first State of the Union address with Johnson on the dais, after former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) — who retired from Congress at the end of 2023 — was ousted from the leadership position in a historic vote in October.

It also comes amid an election year, as Biden continues to struggle with polling numbers and a low approval rating. The speech, however, could serve as an opportunity for the president to cast a new vision ahead of the November election.

While the address is typically held in late January or February, Biden also gave his 2022 address to Congress in early March, per the Associated Press.

Biden accepted the invitation Saturday afternoon with a brief statement on X: “Looking forward to it, Mr. Speaker.”

The later date could also provide the House GOP with room to negotiate on spending. It follows two deadlines set last November under Johnson to avert a shutdown — Jan. 19 and Feb. 2.

Biden’s 2023 State of the Union address before the divided Congress was marred by shouting after the president claimed Republicans wanted to sunset Medicare and Social Security. He also pledged to “finish the job,” after listing off bipartisan legislation that he argued had revitalized the economy and shown the government can work for the public.

Last year’s address also included a standing ovation for the parents of Tyre Nichols — a Black man killed in a fatal traffic stop by Memphis police officers last January. As the first anniversary of his death approaches, the family’s attorneys said they will recommit to “fighting for justice for Tyre.”

Updated at 12:50 p.m.

Source: The Hill

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