How do I watch the State of the Union? Why is the annual speech important? What to know.

  • In Politics
  • 2023-02-06 17:16:19Z

President Joe Biden will deliver his second State of the Union address on Tuesday.

The president is expected to discuss how Democrats and Republicans can work together after the GOP gained control of the House in the midterm elections, as well as the federal budget and other financial factors affecting the economy.

And Biden is set to discuss police brutality after the death of Tyre Nichols, the 29-year-old man who was beaten by police officers in Memphis, Tennessee, and died days later.

But what is the State of the Union address? How can you watch it at home? Here's what you need to know.

Washington: Tyre Nichols' parents to attend State of the Union

Full transcript: What Biden said about Ukraine, COVID, the economy in his first State of the Union

When is the State of the Union?

Biden's State of the Union speech is Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST.

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will give the Republican response after Biden's speech.

How do I watch the State of the Union?

The major TV networks and other news outlets, such as Fox News, MSNBC, CNN and PBS, are providing live coverage of the address, in addition to some online livestreams. The speech will be livestreamed by USA TODAY.

Readers can track live updates during the speech at USA TODAY.

What is the State of the Union? Why is it important?

The State of the Union address isn't just a tradition in the nation's capital. It's rooted in the Constitution.

Article II of the Constitution says the president shall "from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union."

That doesn't mean the president has to give a speech - as they often do today.

"From that very general mandate in the Constitution has evolved into what we recognize today as a yearly event, with lots of pomp and circumstance," Claire Jerry, a curator of political history at the National Museum of American History, told USA TODAY.

Jerry said the State of the Union often provides a spotlight for the president to reference values such as unity or American innovation. She said it also provides a "unique opportunity for Americans and people around the world to see how this checks and balances system of our government works."

How often does the president give a State of the Union?

In modern times, the president delivers a State of the Union speech each year.

  • But that hasn't always been the case. For example, former President Thomas Jefferson sent a written State of the Union, Jerry said.

  • President Woodrow Wilson revived the tradition of delivering an annual message in person in 1913.

  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1942 delivered the first speech known as the "State of the Union."

Invitations to the speech are typically extended to members and former members of Congress, members of the president's Cabinet, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Supreme Court justices, among other government leaders.

Guests who are not public officials are also often invited to attend the speech. This year, Nichols' mother and stepfather will attend after accepting an invitation from Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev.

Contributing: Michael Collins, Chelsey Cox and Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: How can I watch the State of the Union? What is the annual speech?


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