The Washington Times - September 1, 2011, 01:19PM

Now that President Obama won’t be speaking to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, he’s added an event to his schedule that both parties can agree on — celebrating the NASCAR champion.

The White House has announced that Mr. Obama will welcome Jimmie Johnson, winner of the 2010 NASCARSprint Cup Series Championship, to the White House at 4 p.m. Wednesday with other NASCAR drivers.

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Mr. Obama would have had a full plate Wednesday, but House Speaker John A. Boehner rejected the president’s request to speak to a joint session of Congress on that evening.

Mr. Obama’s speech on jobs will take place next Thursday, Sept. 8, instead.

As for the event with race car drivers, the White House said the president “will also recognize the efforts by Jimmie Johnson and NASCAR to give back to their community as part of their visit, continuing the tradition begun by President Obama of honoring athletes and sports teams for their efforts on and off the field.”