Thursday, January 28, 2010

What is "State of the Union address"?

After reading US President Barack Obama's statement, one would be curious to know more about "State of the Union address".

Some extracts from wikipedia:

State of the Union is an annual address presented by the President of the United States to the US Congress. The address not only reports on the condition of the nation but also allows the president to outline his legislative agenda and national priorities to the Congress.

The State of the Union is typically given before a joint session of the United States Congress and is held in the House of Representatives chamber at the United States Capitol.

Modeled after the monarch's Speech from the Throne during the State Opening of Parliament in the United Kingdom, such a report is required by the United States Constitution. The Constitution does not require that the report take the form of a speech; although virtually every president since Woodrow Wilson has made the State of the Union report in the form of a speech delivered personally before a joint session of Congress. By tradition, the President makes this report annually, even though the clause "from time to time" leaves the matter open to interpretation:

“ He shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient. ”
— Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution

Some interesting facts:

George Washington gave the first State of the Union address on January 8, 1790 in New York City, then the provisional U.S. capital.

Since 1934, the message or address has been delivered to Congress in January or February. Today, the speech is typically delivered on the last Wednesday in January, although there is no such provision written in law, and it varies from year to year. In 2008, the speech was given on the last Monday of January.

The Twentieth Amendment also established January 20 as the beginning of the presidential term.

The website http://stateoftheunionaddress.org/ contains the full transcript of the State of the Union Address of all the US Presidents...


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