Biden's State of the Union Address Planned for March 1, Late Due to Olympics, Omicron

President Joe Biden's first State of the Union address will be held slightly later than usual.

The White House announced that Biden's first State of the Union address will be held on March 1. This is the latest time that a president has made the State of the Union address to Congress.

The speech is more commonly delivered around the end of January or early February but it has been delayed for a number of reasons. The current legislative calendar has been cited as one of the reasons for the delay, as it has been more busy than usual. The U.S.'s participation in the Beijing Winter Olympics has also contributed to the delay, as has the current surge of COVID-19 cases around the country.

State of the Union addresses are commonly scheduled by the House Speaker, with the president being formally invited to give the address at the chosen time. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent the formal invitation for March 1 to Biden on Friday, asking him to "share [his] vision of the State of the Union."

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is expected to be a major focus of the State of the Union. The United States is currently experiencing a surge of COVID-19 cases attributed to the less severe but more contagious Omicron variant. Other critical topics that could be addressed during the State of the Union include inflation, supply chains and keeping children in schools.

Biden Jobs
President Joe Biden will give his first State of the Union address on March 1. Pictured, Biden speaks about the December jobs report on January 7, 2022, from the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. Photo by Mandel Ngan/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The last State of the Union address was delivered by then-President Donald Trump on the eve of his acquittal by the Senate in his first impeachment trial.

Biden first addressed a joint session of Congress in April 2021, about 100 days into his time in the White House, which he used to promote twin infrastructure and domestic spending bills. Biden signed a slimmed-down and bipartisan version of the infrastructure proposal into law last year in crowning first-year legislative achievements. The larger expansion of the social safety net passed the House, but Biden has struggled to secure enough Democratic support in the Senate for passage.

An address to Congress in the president's first year is not an official State of the Union address, and Biden's April speech bore little resemblance to one because of strict COVID-19 protocols. It was marked by limitations on attendance, with no guests allowed, and lawmakers seated on both the floor of the House chamber and the galleries above. Officials said pandemic precautions for this year's speech were still being worked out, though they expect it to look more like a traditional State of the Union address than last year's remarks.

"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 recover from the pandemic but Build Back Better!," Pelosi wrote in her letter to Biden.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Pelosi Vigil
This week, U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) officially invited President Joe Biden to deliver his State of the Union address on March 1. Pictured, Pelosi delivers remarks during a prayer vigil to commemorate the anniversary of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images