A short history lesson…..
Soon Pres. Biden will making his first SOTU address to a joint session of Congress…..since traditionally the first year of a presidency is not a SOTU address…we will call it a joint address to Congress…..call it what you like but it will be a SOTU address.
Why does the president make these speeches every year?
Is it something they must do or is it just a way for them to look like they actually care about the country?
The State of the Union address can trace its roots back to the Constitution. Article II, Section 3, Clause 1 of the Constitution says that the president “shall from time to time 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.”
“From time to time” leaves the question of frequency open to interpretation, but George Washington helped cement the State of the Union as an annual event after he gave the first State of the Union address at Federal Hall in New York City in January 1790.
Since there wasn’t much of a blueprint for Washington, he praised the 1st Congress’s work and outlined a brief legislative plan for the upcoming year: He wanted to work on the army, build post roads, and develop uniform systems of currency, weights, and measures. In December 1790, Washington gave his second State of the Union address and firmly established it as an annual event—and the tradition that it take place near the end of the year. Until 1934, the State of the Union was usually in December or November. This would change to the beginning of the year after the 20th amendment moved the start of Congress up to January.
….but that does not mean that every president has made such a speech….
No. You’ll notice that the order from Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution doesn’t say anything about a speech; the president just has to keep Congress informed of what’s going on in the country. When Thomas Jefferson took office in 1801, he decided that the idea of showing up before Congress to deliver a grand address sounded like something a monarch would do, so he decided to bag the speech. Instead, he wrote down an annual message and sent it to Congress, where a clerk read it aloud to the legislators.
In his speech tonight what can Biden possibly say that he has not already said?
I mean we have daily presidential updates….so what can he possibly give us tonight?
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”