Date debate: Boehner asks Obama to delay jobs speech

Washington Bureau

House Speaker John A. Boehner says Congress would be happy to hear President Obama’s ideas for job creation, just not on the day he asked for.

In a response to Obama’s request to speak to a joint session next Wednesday, the Ohio Republican “respectfully” suggested that the president do so on Thursday, citing logistical concerns.

“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,” Boehner said in a letter to the White House.


Boehner’s response comes as some Republicans objected to the White House’s decision to have Obama deliver the speech on the same night as a long-planned GOP presidential candidates debate. The White House called the timing coincidental.

It was not immediately clear whether Congress had ever rebuffed a request from a president to address both chambers. If so, it would represent the latest salvo in what has been an uncommonly polarized congressional session, even by Washington’s standards.

The White House did not immediately respond to Boehner’s letter.