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House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., invited President Joe Biden to deliver the State of the Union address to Congress on March 7.
A spokesperson for Biden said the president never wanted to deliver the 2024 address in the summer, nor did he ever ask Congress if he could.
For decades, the State of the Union has been delivered in the winter, often in January or February. Biden’s 2022 State of the Union address was on March 1.
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On March 7, President Joe Biden will deliver his annual State of the Union address to Congress and the nation. That date is a little later than usual for roughly the last 10 presidents, and it drew some speculation from social media users.
In one Jan. 19 Instagram video, a fast-talking, sunglasses-clad narrator wrongly claimed Biden moved the State of the Union from summer to a date in March — and that doing so was part of a larger scheme.
"Guess what’s going to happen on March 7?" he said. "State of the Union, where the puppet Biden comes in, and he makes a speech. Now, why did he change the State of the Union from the summer to March 7? Why did he do that?"
By the video narrator’s account, on March 7, Biden will step down so that former first lady Michelle Obama can run for president. He also pushed the repeatedly debunked, racist claims that the former first lady is transgender. We’ve rated several iterations of that claim Pants on Fire!
"Why are they doing the state of union in March?" read part of the post’s caption.
This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
We found no evidence that Biden moved the 2024 State of the Union address from the summer to March 7.
PolitiFact reached out to the White House, and a spokesperson for Biden said the president never planned or desired to deliver the 2024 State of the Union address in the summer, nor did he ever ask Congress if he could.
Traditionally, the president addresses Congress at the House Speaker’s invitation. In a Jan. 6 letter, House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., extended that 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.
Biden accepted that invitation in an X post.
"Looking forward to it, Mr. Speaker," he wrote.
Looking forward to it, Mr. Speaker. https://t.co/YChdO92WQK— President Biden (@POTUS) January 6, 2024
Biden’s spokesperson directed all other questions about the date of the address to the speaker. Johnson’s office did not respond to PolitiFact.
PolitiFact searched Google and news archives and found no reports regarding a summer address. Doing so would have been an unprecedented departure from decades of tradition.
Article 2, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution says that the president "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." That is the basis for the tradition, according to the Congressional Research Service.
Since the mid-1960s, every president but Biden has delivered the State of the Union address in January or February, The American Presidency Project reported. Biden delivered his first official State of the Union address on March 1, 2022. And in 2023, it was on Feb. 7.
The 2024 speech will fall after key presidential primary race dates — most notably two days after March 5, Super Tuesday. By then, Congress will have passed its Feb. 2 deadline to fund the federal government and avert a shutdown.
An Instagram video claimed Biden changed the State of the Union address from summer to March.
Johnson invited Biden to address Congress on March 7. A spokesperson for the White House said Biden did not want to deliver — nor did he ask to deliver — the speech in the summer. Since the 1960s, the speech has typically been delivered in the winter. We rate this claim Pants on Fire!
Email interview with White House spokesperson Olivia Dalton, Jan. 23, 2024
NPR, House speaker invites Biden to deliver State of the Union on March 7, Jan. 6, 2024
Letter to President Joe Biden from House Speaker Mike Johnson, Jan. 6, 2024
Post on X by President Joe Biden, Jan. 6, 2024
PolitiFact, Fact-checking Joe Biden's 2022 State of the Union address, March 1, 2022
PolitiFact, Fact-checking Joe Biden's 2023 State of the Union address, Feb. 7, 2023
Congressional Research Service, History, Evolution, and Practices of the President’s State of the Union Address: Frequently Asked Questions, Jan. 24, 2023
The American Presidency Project, Length of State of the Union Addresses in Minutes (from 1964), accessed Jan. 24, 2024
Constitution Annotated, Browse the Constitution Annotated, accessed Jan. 24, 2024
The New York Times, Biden to Deliver State of the Union Address on March 7, Jan. 6, 2024
CNN, A timeline of Michelle Obama saying she’ll never run for office, July 26, 2016
The Rolling Stone, Michelle Obama Tells Oprah She’ll Never, Ever Run for President, April 25, 2023
Business Insider, The complete history of the US State of the Union address, Feb. 28, 2022
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