Feb 7, 2023
Viewer’s Guide to Watching the State of the Union
(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden will give his second State of the Union speech to a joint session of Congress and guests invited by lawmakers and officials. He’s likely to test his message for a potential 2024 run for a second term and discuss social issues, economic successes and international tensions.
Read More: What to Look Out for in Biden’s Second State of the Union Speech
Here’s a viewer’s guide on watching the speech:
When is the State of the Union address?
Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 9 p.m. in Washington.
What is the State of the Union address?
The US Constitution requires the president to deliver to Congress “information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient,” without specifying a frequency or date.
Early iterations included budget requests and general economic information. After 1913, presidents started using their addresses to rally support for their agendas. As the event became broadcast widely over radio, television and online, the speech serves as an opportunity for the president to directly address Americans.
How do you watch the State of the Union?
The major networks including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CNN will carry the speech. You can stream the speech online here and follow Bloomberg’s coverage starting at 8:30 p.m.
Who will rebut Biden’s State of the Union?
Arkansas Governor and former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will deliver the Republican response to Biden’s speech following the event. The response gives a high-profile opportunity for a party not holding the White House to reach the tens of millions of Americans who tune in annually for the president’s prime-time address.
How often are State of the Union addresses?
Traditionally, the State of the Union is delivered annually, though the date has varied. Since George Washington in 1790, there have been 98 in-person addresses by presidents to joint sessions of Congress through Biden’s speech last year. It was formally known as the “Annual Message” until 1946, when the name changed to the State of the Union.
In 1801, Thomas Jefferson began the tradition of sending a separate, written annual message to Congress instead of an in-person speech. This remained the practice until 1913, when Woodrow Wilson revived the in-person address.
Twice, during presidential transitions, there were two State of the Union messages in one year. In 1953, Harry Truman sent a written message, and Dwight Eisenhower delivered one to Congress. In 1961, Eisenhower delivered a written message, and John Kennedy gave a speech.
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