House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited President Joe Biden on Friday to deliver his State of the Union address to Congress on March 1, the latest the traditional speech has ever been given.
Biden will address a joint session of the deeply divided Congress as he seeks to keep the economic recovery humming and keep a lid on the resurgent COVID-19 pandemic powered by the super-contagious omicron variant.
There was no reason given for the late date of the presidential address, which is normally held in late January, but the White House may hope the current exponential surge of COVID-19 will have eased by then.
The speech will come a year and a day after Biden gave his first speech to Congress as president, which was not considered an official State of the Union address because it came so soon after the inauguration on Jan. 20.
In a brief invitation letter, Pelosi thanked Biden for his "bold vision and patriotic leadership" and sought to spotlight some of his achievements during his first year in the White House.
"Thank you for your bold vision and patriotic leadership which have guided America out of crisis and into an era of great progress, as we not only recovery from the pandemic but Build Back Better!" Pelosi wrote.
Biden used his first major address last Feb. 28 to try to forge unity and bridge the bitter divides left by former President Donald Trump and his failed effort to stay in power by overturning the results of the 2020 election.
He will likely take a much tougher partisan tone this time around as Republicans have rallied in near lockstep behind Trump and his effort to whitewash the Jan. 6, 2021, storming of the Capitol.
The speech comes as campaigning begins in earnest for the 2022 midterm elections, where Biden hopes Democrats can cling to their narrow control of both houses of Congress.