President Joe Biden will address lawmakers in a joint session of Congress later this month, delivering his first remarks to both chambers nearly 100 days after taking office.
Biden was formally invited on Tuesday to speak to Congress on April 28 by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who wrote in a letter to the President that she was extending the invitation so he could “share your vision for addressing the challenges and opportunities of this historic moment.” He accepted her invitation later Tuesday evening.
The joint session will be designated a National Special Security Event and there will be a limit on the number of lawmakers in the chamber due to Covid-19 protocols, a Capitol official involved in planning told CNN Wednesday. Lawmakers will also be seated in the upstairs gallery in addition to the House floor and guests will not be permitted.
Pelosi, a California Democrat, had said earlier this month that she was waiting to make a decision on extending an invitation to Biden amid concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, noting that it would come in consultation with the Capitol attending physician.
President Donald Trump’s final State of the Union address was delivered just before the pandemic took hold in the US, and his first address to a joint session of Congress was given in late February 2017. Barack Obama, meanwhile, gave his first presidential address to a joint session in February 2009.
This story and headline have been updated with additional developments and details.