Late Wednesday, the White House released a statement agreeing to the postponement.
The time and date Mr. Obama originally chose for his major address, 8 p.m. on Sept. 7, happened to coincide with a Republican presidential debate at the Ronald W. Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in California. Mr. Boehner made no mention of the debate in his letter to the president, but said the House would be just returning from its monthlong recess on Sept. 7.
“With the significant amount of time - typically more than three hours - that is required to allow for a security sweep of the House Chamber before receiving a President, it is my recommendation that your address be held on the following evening, when we can ensure there will be no parliamentary or logistical impediments that might detract from your remarks,” Mr. Boehner wrote.
Mr. Boehner told the president that “there are considerations about the congressional calendar that must be made prior to scheduling such an extraordinary event.”
Presidents traditionally ask the leaders of Congress to schedule a speech to a joint session, which is what Mr. Obama did this time. But it’s unusual for a leader of Congress to suggest another date after the White House has announced it.
“No one in the speaker’s office - not the speaker, not any staff - signed off on the date the White House announced today,” spokesman Brendan Buck said. “Unfortunately, we weren’t even asked if that date worked for the House.
“Shortly before it arrived this morning, we were simply informed that a letter was coming. It’s unfortunate the White House ignored decades - if not centuries - of the protocol of working out a mutually agreeable date and time before making any public announcement,” he said.
Earlier Wednesday, the head of the House Democrats’ fundraising arm accused Mr. Boehner of playing politics and trying to stifle job-creation efforts.
“After 239 days with no action to create jobs, Speaker Boehner and House Republicans have just given the American people the clearest - and most disgraceful - proof yet that their priority is playing politics instead,” said Rep. Steve Israel of New York, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“Republicans saw and heard from outraged constituents across the country throughout the August recess but clearly did not listen. Americans’ top priority is creating jobs and protecting Medicare while Republicans’ top priority is playing political games,” he said in a statement on DCCC letterhead.View Entire Story
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Dave Boyer is a White House correspondent for The Washington Times. A native of Allentown, Pa., Boyer worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2002 to 2011 and also has covered Congress for the Times. He is a graduate of Penn State University. Boyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Elaine Donnelly
Extending sexual misconduct to combat units
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Video reviews of today's hottest trends in Minecraft (servers and mods) along with a look at the latest video games with your host MCairsoft14 (alias Jerad Zad).
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Contributions to the Communities Sports desk from readers.
Straight talk on climate science, energy economics, and public policy.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention