The Joint Session of Congress

Trump’s first address to joint session of Congress

The president made his case for tougher trade deals, replacing Obamacare, stronger border enforcement and other steps in his prime time speech.

WASHINGTON — Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress is be part of an annual rite of modern presidents looking to lay out an agenda for governing and a stirring argument to support it.

The Joint Session of Congress 2017


  • Article II, Section 3 of the United States Constitution states, “[The president] shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” President George Washington clarified “from time to time,” and since 1790, State of the Union messages and first-year addresses to Congress have been delivered annually.
  • President Thomas Jefferson was concerned that appearing before Congress was too similar to the British monarch tradition of speaking before each new Parliament, so he chose to deliver his State of the Union in writing.
  • President Woodrow Wilson, in 1913, decided to begin delivering oral addresses to Congress.

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