After Speaker John Boehner pushed back against President Barack Obama’s request to convene a joint session of Congress on Sept. 7, the administration conceded Wednesday to the Ohio Republican’s recommendation to hold it the next day.
“As the Majority Leader announced more than a month ago, the House will not be in session until Wednesday, September 7, with votes at 6:30 that evening,” Boehner wrote in a letter to Obama. “With the significant amount of time — typically more than three hours — that is required to allow for a security sweep of the House Chamber before receiving a President, it is my recommendation that your address be held on the following evening, when we can ensure there will be no parliamentary or logistical impediments that might detract from your remarks.”
But White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s office announced after 9 p.m. that Obama “welcomes the opportunity” to speak before Congress on Sept. 8.
“Both Houses will be back in session after their August recess on Wednesday, September 7th, so that was the date that was requested,” the press secretary said in a statement. “We consulted with the Speaker about that date before the letter was released, but he determined Thursday would work better. The President is focused on the urgent need to create jobs and grow our economy, so he welcomes the opportunity to address a Joint Session of Congress on Thursday, September 8th and challenge our nation’s leaders to start focusing 100% of their attention on doing whatever they can to help the American people.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.