Boehner Requests Obama Move Speech to Thursday (Updated)
6:14 PM, Aug 31, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
In a letter sent earlier today to House speaker John Boehner and Senate majority leader Harry Reid, President Barack Obama requested to address a joint session of Congress to deliver his jobs plan on September 7, the first day the House of Representatives will be back from recess and the same evening as the Republican presidential debate in California. House speaker John Boehner has now responded to the president's request with a letter to Obama asking that the president give his speech the next day, on September 8.
In his letter, Boehner blames the day-long delay on the required resolution to hold a joint session of Congress and the security sweep necessary to conduct before hosting the president. "As such, on behalf of the bipartisan leadership and membership of both the House and Senate, I respectfully invite you to address a Joint Session of Congress on Thursday, September 8, 2011 in the House Chamber, at a time that works best for your schedule," Boehner writes. "We look forward to hearing your ideas and working together to solve America's jobs crisis." (Read the whole letter here.)
Ed Henry at Fox News reports that the White House is claiming it gave congressional leaders notice about the September 7 request, although Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith says that's not true. "No one in the Speaker's office - not the Speaker, not any staff - signed off on the date the White House announced today," Smith writes in an email. "Unfortunately we weren’t even asked if that date worked for the House. Shortly before it arrived this morning, we were simply informed that a letter was coming."
Update: According to a press release from the White House, Obama will now be speaking to Congress on Thursday, September 8. "The President is focused on the urgent need to create jobs and grow our economy, so he welcomes the opportunity to address a Joint Session of Congress on Thursday, September 8th and challenge our nation's leaders to start focusing 100% of their attention on doing whatever they can to help the American people," the release said.