The date is set for President Barack Obama’s last State of the Union. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-WI extended President Obama a formal invitation on Monday, Nov. 30, 2015 to give this year’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. Ryan sent the invite by official letter and announced it via Twitter. The address will be Obama’s last State of the Union as president, and Ryan’s first as Speaker of the House. The date is also the earliest date a State of the Union has been given since President Gerald Ford in 1977.
Speaker Ryan sent out the short invitation letter to the president on Monday, telling him, “As we look ahead to the new year, we have both an opportunity and an obligation to find common ground to advance the nation’s interests at home and abroad. We also owe it to the American people to present solutions that address the challenges they face.”
Speaker Ryan also took to Twitter to make the announcement , and he included an image copy of the actual letter. Ryan wrote, “BREAKING NEWS: President Obama’s last #SOTU address will take place on January 12th.”
The address is the earliest time a State of the Union has been delivered since President Gerald Ford, when he delivered it on the same date, Jan. 12, 1977. Ford also delivered his last address on that early date. There was a specific reason the date was so early, it was latest Ford could deliver it since it was the last week of his presidency; Jimmy Carter was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 1977.
President Obama has never delivered address earlier than Jan. 20. Obama delivered it on Jan. 20 this year and Jan. 28 in 2014. The president has even been delivering them as late as the first week of February. The address will be delivered just a week after the House returns for the new session from their holiday season vacation, and a day after the Senate returns on Monday, Jan. 12. The president usually has to accept the date the speaker extends.
Obama will deliver the State of the Union address on January 12, 2016 at 9 p.m. EST to a joint session of Congress. As usual, it will be televised and available online through the White House website.