President Addresses Joint Session

Image of the U.S. House

President Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress

President Donald J. Trump delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. President Trump was invited by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to "give the people and their representatives the chance to hear directly from [the president] about [his] agenda to tackle the critical challenges we face at home and abroad."

Speaker Ryan presided over the House chamber as Supreme Court Justices, Cabinet officials, members of the Joint Chiefs of staff, and guests joined Members of the House and Senate for the speech.

When a president addresses a joint session of Congress, it is often referred to as a State of the Union speech; however, there typically is no State of the Union address by a new president in their first year in office. President John F. Kennedy is the one exception as he delivered a State of the Union address during his first year in office in 1961.

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan spoke before a joint session about his economic recovery plan. Since then, each newly-elected president has addressed a joint session.