Wednesday 27 January 2010
Tonight (or in the arly hours of tomorrow morrow morning if you are on the eastern side of the Atlantic), President Obama will give his annual "State of the Union" Address to Congress. The Constitution Article 2 Section 3 requires 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". The first SOTU was given by President Washington, but Jefferson ceased the practice of a speech to Congress because he felt it was too monarchical. Until 1913 the SOTU was a written message sent to, and read to Congress by, a Clerk. President Wilson re-established the practice of an annual joint address - which includes both information of the state of the Union and an outline of the President's legislative agenda.
The speech will be broadcast on most news networks. C‑SPAN’s LIVE coverage starts with a historical look at Presidents in their first year in office (8pm/UK 1am), followed by the President’s address (9pm/UK 2am). Then, the Republican response by Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) and viewer reaction.