Joint address 2021: How to watch Biden’s first big speech to Congress

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<p>President Joe Biden delivers a speech on infrastructure spending at Carpenters Pittsburgh Training Centre on Wednesday 31 March 2021, in Pittsburgh</p> ((AP))

President Joe Biden delivers a speech on infrastructure spending at Carpenters Pittsburgh Training Centre on Wednesday 31 March 2021, in Pittsburgh


Joe Biden will deliver his first address to a joint address to Congress later this week, in what will be his first “State of the Union” as US President on the eve of his 100th day in office.

The address, which is typically delivered by the president in February, a month after they are inaugurated, has been pushed back to April this year due to complications with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Although the speech is not formally known as the State of Union Address in a president’s first year in charge, due to them generally only being in the role for a few weeks at the time of the session, it is still often referred to as that because it is identical in format.

Mr Biden made it clear that he would not deliver a major speech to Congress on his policy goals until a coronavirus relief package was passed, which was finally achieved in March.

Once the relief package was passed and vaccinations in the US ramped up, House speaker Nancy Pelosi invited Mr Biden to speak to Congress.

“Nearly 100 days ago, when you took the oath of office, you pledged in a spirit of great hope that ‘Help Is On The Way’. Now, because of your historic and transformative leadership, Help Is Here!” Ms Pelosi wrote.

“In that spirit, I am writing to invite you to address a Joint Session of Congress on Wednesday, April 28, to share your vision for addressing the challenges and opportunities of this historic moment,” she added.

During the address, the president updates Americans on the current condition of the nation, discussing the economy, policies and proposals for the next year.

Due to the Capitol riots on 6 January, where five people died and several more were injured, and the ongoing pandemic, Mr Biden is sure to have plenty to discuss, despite only being president for three months.

Find out all you need to know about the 2021 State of the Union Address below.

When is the State of the Union address?

Mr Biden will address a joint session of Congress on 28 April at 6pm PT (9pm ET) in the US House of Representatives.

This will take place around two months later than a president’s first address to Congress normally comes after taking office, as it was delayed so Mr Biden and his administration could focus on tackling the ongoing pandemic.

The address will look different in 2021, as National Guard troops will be stationed around the US Capitol for protection in reaction to the insurrection earlier this year.

The chamber will also not be as populated as it normally is, as social distancing guidelines will still be in place, forcing members of Congress to forgo the typical plus-ones and some to be seated in the visitor’s gallery.

However, Mr Biden will invite some special guests, who will not be revealed until just before the address on 28 April.

Where can I watch the address?

Mr Biden’s State of the Union address will be shown live on The Independent, with a dedicated page for the event.

All major US networks, including CNN, Fox News and ABC News, will provide a stream of the address, with each channel providing their own analysis on the proceedings.

The address will also be broadcast online, via the official White House YouTube page and on all of the network’s channels on the video-sharing platform.

Mr Biden is expected to speak about his $2 trillion (£1.4 trillion) infrastructure plan as well as the country’s Covid-19 vaccination efforts. Last week, 200 million vaccine doses had been administered in the US, double the president’s target for his first 100 days in charge.

Speaking to reporters last week, US press secretary Jen Psaki gave a hint of what Mr Biden will discuss in his first address.

She revealed that Mr Biden “will talk about all of the priorities and his commitment to building the economy back better, getting the pandemic under control, addressing the challenges we face around the world.”

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