Following the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives, U.S. President Joe Biden will make his first State of the Union address. This speech may serve as the unofficial launch of the 2024 presidential campaign season.
Here is what to expect.
WHEN IS THE STATE OF THE UNION?
On Tuesday, February 7, 2023, about 9:00 p.m. Eastern time, Biden will give his second State of the Union speech (0200 GMT Wednesday). The main broadcast television networks in the United States as well as online will stream the speech live.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Biden might have his biggest television audience of the year from the address. According to data source Nielsen, 38.2 million people in the US watched the address on television last year.
As he prepares to declare his reelection candidature in the coming weeks, Biden will use that audience to influence public perceptions on the debt ceiling, social spending, the Russian war in Ukraine, and other issues.
Additionally, he has the chance to bolster Democratic support, some of which are wary of him due to his age and other factors. Biden was 80 in November and would be 82 when he began a second term if re-elected.
WHAT IS BIDEN EXPECTED TO SAY?
He is anticipated to use the speech as an unofficial kickoff to the 2024 presidential campaign season, outlining a list of legislative proposals that might or might not be accepted by Congress.
He is anticipated to highlight economic accomplishments since the COVID-19 recession, draw stark comparisons with some Republican opponents’ policies, and provide a list of “unity” agenda items that, in his opinion, should bring both parties together.
It took weeks for Biden, his speechwriters, and other political and policy professionals in the administration to prepare the address, which went through numerous iterations.
Just days after Russia invaded Ukraine last year, Biden gave a speech that largely emphasised upon Washington’s response.
WHO ATTENDS THE SPEECH?
The address is given to Congress during a joint session. Everyone in the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-controlled Senate is invited. Additionally present are members of the Supreme Court, the military, and Biden’s Cabinet. There may be partisan outbursts.
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy extended a formal invitation to Biden to deliver the speech earlier in January. McCarthy, who is also the president of the Senate, will preside over the gathering and be joined by Vice President Kamala Harris.
The First Lady’s view box on the balcony is where the president can bring family members and other visitors who can be used to reinforce his arguments during his address.
Last year’s attendees included Valerie Biden Owens, the sister of Vice President Joe Biden, Oksana Markarova, the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States, and the widow of a service member who developed a rare ailment that may have been brought on by environmental dangers he encountered in Iraq.
WHO IS THE DESIGNATED SURVIVOR
One official from Biden’s Cabinet who will be chosen as a “designated survivor” does not attend. The person in charge of taking over the government in the event that a calamity renders the president and his other successors at the Capitol incapacitated will be housed in a secure area.
This year’s designated survivor has not yet been made public.
WHO WILL GIVE THE REPUBLICAN RESPONSE?
Republicans have not yet chosen a candidate to deliver the customary response from the opposition party to Biden’s remarks. Usually, that speech comes right after the president’s.