Mr. President, your move. *** UPDATE 3 *** Obama agreed to move the speech to Thursday.
After President Obama requested in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to address a joint session of Congress next Wednesday, Sept. 7 -- the same night as an NBC/Politico Republican presidential debate -- Boehner suggested he do it a day later.
Citing that the House is back in session Wednesday and has scheduled votes, Boehner wrote in his own letter, "I respectfully invite you to address a Joint Session of Congress on Thursday, September 8, 2011 in the House Chamber, at a time that works best for your schedule."
A GOP aide tells NBC's Luke Russert that the White House alerted Boehner only 15 minutes prior to alerting the press that the president wanted to have a speech on the economy before a Joint Session of Congress.
The aide hinted that only giving the speaker's office 15 minutes of a head up is a tad disrespectful.
*** UPDATE *** A White House official tells First Read, "Boehner’s office was consulted about the 9/7 date before the letter was released. No objection/concern was raised," so the letter went out.
*** UPDATE 2 *** Boehner's office did not raise objection on the White House call, Boehner's office confirms, but in the letter released "after we had time to examine what they were proposing."
Boehner's office insists this was about logistics, not personal.
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
Thank you for your letter requesting time to address a Joint Session of Congress next week. I agree that creating a better environment for job creation must be our most urgent priority. For months, the House has been implementing an agenda designed to reduce economic uncertainty, remove unnecessary government barriers to private-sector job creation, and help small businesses, and we welcome the opportunity to hear your latest proposals.
As your spokesperson today said, there are considerations about the Congressional calendar that must be made prior to scheduling such an extraordinary event. As you know, the House of Representatives and Senate are each required to adopt a Concurrent Resolution to allow for a Joint Session of Congress to receive the President. And as the Majority Leader announced more than a month ago, the House will not be in session until Wednesday, September 7, with votes at 6:30 that evening. 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. As such, on behalf of the bipartisan leadership and membership of both the House and Senate, I respectfully invite you to address a Joint Session of Congress on Thursday, September 8, 2011 in the House Chamber, at a time that works best for your schedule.
We look forward to hearing your ideas and working together to solve America's jobs crisis.
Here was Obama's earlier letter requesting to speak:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release August 31, 2011
TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE MAJORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE
August 31, 2011
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. Leader:)
Our Nation faces unprecedented economic challenges, and millions of hardworking Americans continue to look for jobs. As I have traveled across our country this summer and spoken with our fellow Americans, I have heard a consistent message: Washington needs to put aside politics and start making decisions based on what is best for our country and not what is best for each of our parties in order to grow the economy and create jobs. We must answer this call.
Therefore, I respectfully request the opportunity to address a Joint Session of Congress on September 7, 2011, at 8:00 p.m. It is my intention to lay out a series of bipartisan proposals that the Congress can take immediately to continue to rebuild the American economy by strengthening small businesses, helping Americans get back to work, and putting more money in the paychecks of the Middle Class and working Americans, while still reducing our deficit and getting our fiscal house in order. It is our responsibility to find bipartisan solutions to help grow our economy, and if we are willing to put country before party, I am confident we can do just that.
Thank you for your consideration.