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President Biden to Address Joint Session of Congress April 28

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Joe Biden will finally address a joint session of Congress for the first time on April 28 following an invitation from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

Biden's speech will come just before his 100th day in office, much later into his first term than those of his modern-day predecessors. 

Since the Reagan administration, every president before Biden has delivered his first speech to Congress within his first 40 days in office.

  • Ronald Reagan - Feb. 18, 1981 
  • George H. W. Bush - Feb. 9, 1989 
  • Bill Clinton - Feb. 17, 1993  
  • George W. Bush - Feb. 27, 2001 
  • Barack Obama - Feb 24, 2009  
  • Donald Trump - Feb. 28, 2017 

The President held his first formal press conference on March 25, nearly two months after his inauguration. It was 64 days in the making and the latest presidential press event in modern history. Reporters questioned him about a variety of issues from the Senate filibuster to China to immigration. 

When asked about the pressing migrant problem at the border between U.S. and Mexico, Biden replied the problems at the southern border aren't new.  He argued that migrants aren't coming just because they think he's such a nice guy.

"The reason they're coming is it's the time they can come without dying in the desert. Number two, they're coming 'cause of circumstances in the country," he said.

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But some political pundits argue the White House has limited Biden's public appearances since he became president. 

Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany recently suggested that Biden's staff is "protecting" him from slip-ups while speaking publicly.

"You'll recall...the 'basement strategy' is what he employed on the campaign trail," she told Fox Business host Stuart Varney, referring to Biden handling press from his basement. "He went something like 50 days and he only took questions twice. And when he did, they were hand-picked questions."

She added, "I think his staff does not have faith that he can stand at the podium and have a press conference the way President Trump did many times."

Former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows made similar remarks to Fox News host Sean Hannity last month, and Hannity also claimed that the White House continues to "hide" Biden.

During his April 28 speech, Biden is expected to discuss the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package and advancing his massive $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal.

Traditionally all members of Congress and guests gather for a joint session in the House, the larger of the two chambers. However, the address is certain to look different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Presidents don't deliver a State of the Union address to Congress until their second year in office.

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