Politics

State of the
Union Address

3 Quick Facts About Today’s Annual Speech By The President

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WHY IT HAPPENS:

“He 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.”

The Constitution states simply that the President must deliver an update on his assessment of the union and priorities, but it makes no mention of how or when or where "He" must do so.
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EVOLUTION:

  • Origins date back to the British tradition of the Crown delivering a speech to start each new legislative session.
  • First delivered in 1790 by Pres. Washington in person in New York.
  • Delivered via a written letter to Congress from 1801 – 1913.
  • Known as President’s Annual Message to Congress until 1946 and as the State of the Union ever since.
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WHO ATTENDS:

  • President may invite up to 24 guests (including First Lady).
  • Each sitting member of Congress gets two tickets (1 for them & 1 for a guest).
  • Also invited: Supreme Court justices, Fmr. members of Congress, Joint Chiefs of Staff, & President’s Cabinet (*except* one cabinet member purposefully excluded, a “designated survivor” who stays in a separate location during the address in case a disaster strikes).
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THE NEXT DAY ... Less than 24 hours after Pres. Trump will deliver his third State of the Union address on the House floor, Congress' other chamber will convene on the Senate floor at 4pm to vote on whether or not to remove him from office for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

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