Biden 'looks forward' to delivering State of the Union in February

US President accepts invitation to address Congress from new Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy

The House of Representatives chamber at the Capitol in Washington. AP
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US President Joe Biden on Friday accepted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's invitation to give a State of the Union address to the Congress next month, the White House confirmed.

“The President is grateful for and accepts Speaker McCarthy’s prompt invitation to address the peoples’ representatives in Congress,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

“He looks forward to speaking with Republicans, Democrats and the country about how we can work together to continue building an economy that works from the bottom up and the middle out, keep boosting our competitiveness in the world, keep the American people safe and bring the country together.”

This will be the first time during his presidency that Mr Biden will address a Congress that is not entirely under Democratic control.

Democrats hold a slim majority in the Senate while the Republicans hold an equally slim majority in the House.

Mr McCarthy was elected speaker after 15 votes, a stretch of failed attempts not seen since before the Civil War.

Bipartisanship is likely to be on the minds of many, as the President works with an obstructionist lower chamber whose Republican members are looking to increase pressure on his administration.

Mr McCarthy called it his “solemn obligation” to invite Mr Biden.

“The American people sent us to Washington to deliver a new direction for the country, to find common ground and to debate their priorities,” the new House Speaker said in his invitation.

“Your remarks will inform our efforts to address the priorities of the American people,” he wrote to Mr Biden.

The State of the Union is set to take place during a joint session of Congress on February 7, 2023.

Updated: January 13, 2023, 8:34 PM