WASHINGTON (AP) — Follow along for real-time updates on President Joe Biden’s 2023 State of the Union address from The Associated Press. Live updates — any times are Eastern — are brought to you by AP journalists at the White House, on Capitol Hill and beyond.
FLURRY OF PREPARATIONS
Preparations are underway at the Capitol with the president’s State of the Union address only a few hours away. And that means a flurry of behind-the-scenes operations to transform the stately building for the prime-time event.
The House chamber is cleared out now that lawmakers have completed most of their business for the day. Crews are beginning their work.
The gilded Statuary Hall is filling up with lights, cameras and broadcast teams for the many interviews that will air before before and after the speech.
It’s the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic that the Capitol has been fully reopened for the event. Security is tight. People have begun filling the Capitol halls
Biden has taken lots of heat from Republicans over his handling of the suspected Chinese spy balloon that drifted across the United States before being shot down on Saturday over the Atlantic Ocean. GOP lawmakers had talked about introducing a resolution, just as the president was set to give his prime-time speech, that would have condemned the administration over the matter.
Those plans have been scrapped, and instead a bipartisan proposal condemning China is being considered.
“It’s too important of an issue. And we want to stand strong together against China instead of having our own internal fights,” Rep. Mike McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told The Associated Press. The Texas Republican is sponsoring the bipartisan resolution.
Not everyone is on board, it seems. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Republican congresswoman from Georgia, showed up at the Capitol on Tuesday with a big white balloon.
Read more: https://apnews.com/article/politics-united-states-government-china-antony-blinken-51e49202f2a0a50541cde059934c4cfb
“We’re not going to do childish games tearing up a speech”
— Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. That was a reference to his predecessor, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who made a point of publicly ripping her copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address just after he finished speaking in 2020.
Read more: https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-nancy-pelosi-ap-top-news-michael-pence-politics-f8edd0389a1a8ba41322e0e34098aafb
Keep an eye out for guests invited to the speech by the White House and members of Congress.
Among those sitting with first lady Jill Biden will be the family of Tyre Nichols and the parents of a 3-year-old girl who has a rare form of cancer. There’ll be U2 frontman Bono, who has worked to combat HIV/AIDS, and Brandon Tsay, who disarmed the accused gunman in a mass shooting last month in California.
Some Democratic lawmakers are bringing relatives of Black men and boys who have died at the hands of police.
Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has invited former NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom, who changed name from Enes Kanter after becoming a U.S. citizen in 2021. He grew up in Turkey and has been critical of Turkey’s president, Tayyip Erdoğan, and says a bounty has been issued against him in that country.
Read more: https://apnews.com/article/state-of-the-union-biden-2023-b9bebd876a42a9510f068a04a3f2a348
HERE WE GO
It’s State of the Union time, that day when the president delivers a speech to Congress that tries to accomplish a lot.
Biden will want to talk about his accomplishments, toss out some goals for this year, tick off things that need fixing and do some cheerleading for the nation. And, of course, characterize the state of the union.
Doing all of that can take a while. Biden’s 2022 State of the Union address ran just over 62 minutes. Bill Clinton gave the longest one ever, clocking in at one hour, 28 minutes in 2000. The award for the shortest speech goes to Republican George W. Bush, who spoke for 47 minutes in 2002.
Read more: https://apnews.com/article/biden-state-of-the-union-4d6eb9fed9a46bb4efb63ea4e015725c
The AP will be streaming this year’s speech at APNews.com. It starts at 9 p.m. EST. Follow AP’s coverage of the State of the Union address at: https://apnews.com/hub/state-of-the-union-address