House Speaker Mike Johnson formally invited President Biden to deliver a State of the Union address before Congress in March, amid “a moment of great challenge for our country.”
The constitutionally mandated update to Congress would occur on March 7, according to Johnson’s invitation.
“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 on Thursday, March 7, 2024, so that you may fulfill your obligation under the U.S. Constitution to report on the state of our union,” Johnson wrote in the letter sent Saturday.
In a post on X, Biden accepted the invitation.
“Looking forward to it, Mr. Speaker,” the post on Biden’s official X account said.
This will be Biden’s first State of the Union address with Johnson as speaker of the House, and his second since Republicans won the House majority in 2022.
In 2023, former Speaker Kevin McCarthy invited Biden to give the address to a joint session of Congress on February 7, 2023.
“The American people sent us to Washington to deliver a new direction for the country, to find common ground, and to debate their priorities,” McCarthy wrote at the time. After being ousted as speaker of the House in October, McCarthy left Congress in December.
Johnson has recently floated the idea of meeting personally with the president to discuss the southern border, which Republicans and a growing number Democrats view as a crisis.
Fox News Digital reported Friday that Johnson suggested meeting with Biden during a private call with House lawmakers on Thursday evening.
A group of senators are still negotiating a potential immigration and border security package that would address the situation, after House Republicans said they would not consider additional aid to Ukraine or Israel unless the southern border crisis were addressed.
The March 7 State of the Union address would come after Congress faces two major deadlines to fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year. Under a continuing resolution (CR) passed late last year, the House and Senate must reach an agreement to fund certain agencies by January 19 and others by February 2.
During his 2023 State of the Union address, Biden faced boos and criticism for claiming that Republicans wanted to hold the economy “hostage” and sunset Social Security and Medicare.
Biden also touted the economic progress under his administration — after inflation hit record highs in 2022 — and highlighted the unemployment rate at a “50-year low,” as well as job creation under his presidency following the pandemic-era job losses.