Joe Biden to address joint session of Congress for first time as president

President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden

Joe Biden will soon address a joint session of Congress for the first time since becoming US president.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi extended the invitation to Mr Biden on Tuesday “to share your vision for addressing the challenges and opportunities of this historic moment”, with the White House later saying the president had accepted the invitation to attend on April 28.

The speech will come just before Mr Biden’s 100th day in office, and will provide him an opportunity to update the American public on his progress toward fulfilling his promises.

It will also give him a chance to make the case for the 2.3 trillion dollar (£1.7 trillion) infrastructure package he unveiled earlier this month, which the House is aiming to pass by July 4.

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.

Social distancing restrictions have been in place during the pandemic that require House lawmakers to conduct floor votes and other business in smaller groups, rather than convening hundreds in the chamber at once.

Masks are required and the public visitors galleries, usually filled for such an event, have been closed during most of the pandemic.

Details on the Capitol’s preparation for the event were not immediately available.

Presidents do not deliver a State of the Union address to Congress until their second year in office.

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