According to CBS News , President Barack Obama’s request to address a joint session of Congress on Sept. 7, the same evening a Republican Presidential debate in California is scheduled to take place, has caused many people to speculate that the President did so in an attempt to overshadow the GOP.
“Our nation faces unprecedented economic challenges, and millions of hardworking Americans continue to look for jobs,” Obama wrote in a formal letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid requesting to address both chambers, reports CBS News.
Boehner reportedly joked that Congress needs a plan, not more discussion about the economy. The President’s planned jobs speech during the session has been lampooned as the same ongoing rhetoric about unseen job growth that has been promised for more than a year; criticism was heightened after Obama embarked on his “rural economic bus tour” earlier in the month.
White House spokesman Jay Carney reportedly said the GOP debate, “one of many,” was not something the President should have to consider in scheduling a speech and suggested the debate be scheduled later to give candidates an opportunity to respond to Obama’s remarks.
According to The Washington Times, Boehner later responded to the President’s request in a letter suggesting that the address be scheduled for the following day:
…as the Majority Leader announced more than a month ago, the House will not be in session until Wednesday, September 7, with votes at 6:30 that evening. With the significant amount of time—typically more than three hours—that is required to allow for a security sweep of the House Chamber before receiving a President, it is my recommendation that your address be held on the following evening, when we can be sure that there will be no parliamentary or logistical impediments that might retract from your remarks.