Biden to Address a Joint Session of Congress on April 28
(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden will deliver his first address to a joint session of Congress on April 28, right before his 100th day in office.
Biden on Tuesday night accepted the invitation from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a White House official said.
“Nearly 100 days ago, when you took the oath of office, you pledged in a spirit of great hope that ‘Help Is On The Way.’ Now, because of your historic and transformative leadership, Help Is Here,” Pelosi said in a letter to the president.
“In that spirit, I am writing to invite you to address a Joint Session of Congress on Wednesday, April 28, to share your vision for addressing the challenges and opportunities of this historic moment.”
While Biden will deliver the speech in the House chamber, other aspects of the night’s format, including Covid-testing requirements and who will be able to attend in person, have yet to be arranged, said an official involved with the planning.
The official also said that a security plan for the event must be established, just as it was for the inauguration in January.
Biden’s actions during his first 100 days have included rolling back policies put in place by the Trump administration, escalating the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines and working to pass, along party lines, a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill.
He has now shifted his focus to building support for a $2.25 trillion infrastructure package called the American Jobs Plan and is also preparing to roll out the American Families Plan, which will include proposals on education and health care.
The 100-day point has long been an important marker for a new president’s promises and aspirations.
A pledge to administer 100 million vaccine shots during Biden’s first 100 days in office was bumped to 200 million shots as the pace of vaccinations increased. Administration officials insisted Tuesday that a pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would not block that goal. He also vowed to reopen most K-8 schools for in-person instruction by his 100th day in office.
Biden’s predecessors dating to Ronald Reagan all gave their first speeches to a joint session of Congress by the end of February. But with the relief bill still in progress then, the White House chose to hold off until the 100-day milestone.
House and Senate members are expected to attend. But how many will actually be on hand remains to be seen.
Also unsettled is how many representatives of the U.S. Supreme Court, the cabinet, or journalists, will be in the chamber.
There is not expected to be the typical allowance of members’ invited “guests” in the gallery above the House floor, if any.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.