Joe Biden State of the Union address

PBS NewsHour Coverage of President Biden’s State of the Union Address


Tuesday, March 1 at 7 p.m.

Following the usual PBS NewsHour broadcast at 6 p.m., which will focus on special coverage of the Russia/Ukraine conflict, at 7 p.m., U.S. President Joe Biden will deliver his first State of the Union address. Arizona PBS will share it via a live on-air broadcast and livestream above from PBS NewsHour, which will provide live coverage and commentary.

Unusual for this State of the Union address is its lateness: it normally takes place in January, and sometimes in February. The delay has been attributed to a busy legislative calendar, the more transmissible omicron variant of COVID-19, and the Winter Olympics schedule, which is part of primetime broadcasts.

A president’s State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress is mandated in the U.S. Constitution (Article II, Section 3, Clause 1), which states 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.”

You might wonder why Biden didn’t deliver an address in 2021. His inauguration took place on January 20, 2021, and a new president typically isn’t expected to describe the state of the nation after such a short time as the head of the Executive branch and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. Biden did deliver a speech to a joint session of Congress in April 2021.

Two official responses will follow Biden’s State of the Union address. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds will deliver the Republican response. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) will deliver a response on behalf of the Working Families Party, which is considered more left-leaning and progressive than the Democratic Party.

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