State of the Union 2023: What to expect from US president Joe Biden's speech
State of the Union 2023: Biden likely to kick-start (unofficially) his 2024 presidential campaign with address that will be broadcasted live on major US television networks and on online platforms.
United States president Joe Biden will deliver his second State of the Union address Tuesday, at around 9 pm EST, which will be Wednesday 7.30 am IST. Biden is expected to use this speech to unofficially announce the start of his re-election campaign; the US votes in 2024.
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What is the State of the Union?
The State of the Union is an annual message delivered by the US president to a joint session of the Congress. It is usually held near the beginning of each calendar year and focuses largely on the social, economic, financial and political situation within the country.
It also highlights the achievements of the current government and progress of pending and future legislative proposals.
Who attends the address?
Members of both Houses - the Senate and the House of Representatives - as well as members of the president's cabinet, senior military officials and Supreme Court justices.
The speech normally begins with the House Speaker - currently Kevin McCarthy, a Republican - presiding over the event. He will be accompanied by the vice president - Kamala Harris - who is also the president of the Senate.
The president also invites 24 guests, including family members, to be seated in a box with the First Lady. The Speaker may also invite up to 24 guests.
Members of Congress can also invite guests.
Who are the special guests?
This year Congressional Black Caucus chair Steven Horsford, a Democrat from Nevada - has also invited the parents of Tyre Nichols, the Black man beaten to death by police officers in Memphis, Tennessee, as guests.
Missouri Democrat Cori Bush has invited Michael Brown (senior), the father of Michael Brown, whose killing ignited the Black Lives Matter movement.
House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Michael McCaul invited Roya Rahmani, who served as Afghanistan's first female ambassador to the US, reported news agency Reuters.
Who is the 'designated survivor'?
There would be a one pick from the president's cabinet who will not attend the address and will serve as the "designated survivor."
The designated survivor takes over the government during the speech to address the issues which in case impairs the president and his other successors at the Capitol. During the address, he/she is housed in a secure location.
The designated survivor for this year's speech has not yet been announced.
What Biden will say?
President Biden is expected to amplify his message that Democrats and Republicans can work together. It is speculated that his speech would be an unofficial start to the 2024 presidential campaign.
He is expected to emphasize on the economic progress following the Covid-19 recession, shape public perceptions over the debt limit and social spending, draw sharp contrasts with the priorities of some Republicans and lay out "unity" agenda items that he believes should unite both parties, according to Reuters.
Last year, Biden heavily focused on Washington's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. An estimated 38.2 million people watched the speech on US television last year, according to Nielsen.
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Republicans have picked Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who served as White House press secretary under Donald Trump, to deliver their response.