[Published on Newsmax
Republicans should uninvite President Biden giving his State of the Union Address in the House Chamber.
Republicans can use this historic opportunity to draw attention to everything President Biden is doing to America. They know they will not convict Biden, or any of his Cabinet, using Impeachment.
Instead, Republicans can, in one master stroke, sanction Biden and realign the balance between the Legislative and Executive Branches.
There is no official reason for the speech.
There is not a requirement for it to be annual.
Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution
only requires the President to “from time
to time give to the Congress information of the State of the Union”.
There is no requirement for Congress granting the President the use of their Chamber for this ritualized taxpayer-funded infomercial.
Republicans would prove that the Congress is a co-equal branch, not subservient to the President. They would not be seen as a pack of trained seals clapping at dozens of cheap applause lines. They would not be the stage for ritualizing Biden's trumpeting hollow accomplishments and demonizing Republican opposition.
They would also avoid being put in awkward political
binds as the President introduces controversial people seated next to the First
lady, daring the Republicans not to applaud. Speaker Johnson would not have to
maintain his dignity as Biden promotes the destruction of everything he holds
Not inviting the President also brings the State of the Union back to its traditional position in American government.
President George Washington delivered the first State of the Union speech in person before a Joint Session of Congress on January 8, 1790. Since then, there have been 232 opportunities for Presidents to deliver their report before Congress. Presidents have delivered their report as a speech before a Joint Session of Congress only 108 times (46%).
The other 125 times were through written communication.
George Washington and John Adams delivered their State of the Union reports as speeches, but Thomas Jefferson was more comfortable with the written word. For 113 years, no other President delivered a State of the Union speech before Congress until Democrat Woodrow Wilson on December 2, 1913. This was part of Wilson’s elevating himself to new regal heights.
President Warren Harding continued this new
practice. President Calvin Coolidge delivered his first and only State of the
Union address on December 6, 1923, then went silent.
For ten years, Congress did not have to arrange a Joint Session for the State of the Union Address. Then Democrat Franklin Roosevelt asked for the forum in 1934. In 1946, President Harry Truman opted out of a formal speech because, during the previous nine months, he had spoken to five Joint Sessions of Congress relating to the end of World War II. In 1956, President Eisenhower opted out of the speech because he was still recovering from his September 24,1955 heart attack.
No one really missed the Presidential vanity hour. Twenty-six Presidents, including two of America’s greatest Presidential orators, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, choose not to speak to the Congress. Congress still operated. Legislative business proceeded. America survived.
Presidents issue a detailed Budget Message a few weeks after the State of the Union Report. This is a more tangible and actionable communication of the Administration’s priorities. Far more budget initiatives become reality than the dozens of empty promises made during a typical State of the Union address.
Americans have grown tired of this annual narcissistic charade. President Bill Clinton’s first State of the Union Speech (SOTUS) was watched by a record 70 million. The television audience for Biden’s 2023 SOTUS was only 27.3 million.
Congressional Republicans can reprimand Biden while reinventing government in the 21st Century.
Let the President speak from the Oval Office and send a written version to Congress - that would more than meet the Constitutional requirement.