When is Trump's first State of the Union?
On Friday, Donald Trump addressed the nation as president for the first time in his inaugural address, in which he promised that "from this day forward, it's going to be only America first."
But America may have to wait a while for the president's next traditional major speech: his State of the Union address.
The State of the Union is traditionally delivered in January or early February, soon after the new session of Congress convenes on Jan. 3. The presidential address to Congress is stipulated in Article II of the Constitution, which states the president "shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the Union."
Though the State of the Union is traditionally an annual affair, despite the vague "from time to time" stipulation in the Constitution, many presidents elect not to make an official State of the Union speech during the year of their inauguration.
The past five presidents (Obama, G.W. Bush, Clinton, Bush Sr. and Reagan), the American Presidency Project notes, delivered statements to a joint session of Congress shortly after their inauguration. However, the website notes, these more informal addresses are not technically State of the Union speeches. Clinton and Bush Sr. referred to their speeches as "Administration Goals" speeches, while George W. Bush's 2001 speech was categorized as a "Budget Message."
Whether Trump will continue this trend or break with tradition to deliver a 2017 State of the Union speech still remains to be seen. But Americans should likely expect to wait until Jan. or Feb. 2018.
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