News / USA

State of Union Allows Presidents to Outline Agenda

State of Union Allows Presidents to Outline Agendai
X
February 11, 2013
The United States Constitution mandates that the president address Congress on the current State of the Union. What began as a handwritten note to Congressmen has evolved into a show of televised political theatre, broadcast globally, in which a sitting president is nothing if not bold. VOA’s Laurel Bowman has more.
TEXT SIZE - +
Laurel Bowman
— The United States Constitution mandates that the president address Congress on the current State of the Union.  What began as a handwritten note to congressmen has evolved into a show of televised political theatre, broadcast globally, in which a sitting president is nothing if not bold. 
 
Americans fought the British for independence, but borrowed their practice of having the head of state address government leaders regularly.

Early presidents posted letters, not showing up at the Capitol.

The U.S. Constitution mandates there be a State of the Union report. It adds that the president shall recommend measures to Congress that he judges "necessary and expedient."

Ronald Reagan started the practice of inviting special guests to the speech, like this man who dove into the Potomac River in Washington to save victims of a plane crash.
Over the years the address has evolved.

We sat down with Georgetown University government and public policy professor Mark Rom for some insight.

“Presidents have multiple purposes for the State of the Union address.  One is they want to lay out their agenda for the upcoming session. But at the same time he is laying out that agenda for Congress, he is also laying it out for the public," Rom stated.  "Congress responds to public concerns so the president also wants to mobilize public opinion to support these goals.”

The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives formally invites the president to address both Senators and House members.  The speech is held in the House Chamber because it is larger.  Rom says that these days the speech is substantive, but also … dramatic.

“The president says what his agenda is. His backers in Congress, that is members of his party, will stand and whoop enthusiastically about this agenda.  The opponents, opposition party, will remain seated typically during those moments, cross their arms and look skeptical,” Rom explained.

It can be a time to speak of problems and offer solutions.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Raymond Murdock
February 13, 2013 11:09 AM
The promise in politics is like shedding a tear in the ocean and trying to find a grain of sand in the desert. (Raymond Murdock)
From the Presidential position must understand that rules for millions. Many confuse partisanship with nationalism. They may have good intentions, the issue is when these collide with good reasons. Entrenched and institutionalized economic interests above the law and order. No stipulations can be monotonous to vehement rhetorical campaign speeches. Utopias of benches. Or anxieties partisan.

Agree ideas, inclusive, beneficial to the whole society has its contrast of individualism in its most insignificant by vested interests when the massification to create uncertainty or worse when the partializes, intentionally or willfully violate, blackmail, distort, etc. Most pressing realities diverting attention from fundamental objectives such as respect the constitutional rights adapting to the times and to the realities that their complexity may include different factors but do not change in the substantiation transparency as consistency in application.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid