President Biden has yet to schedule his first joint address to Congress despite pledging to do so after passing his $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, as reporters continue to wait for the commander-in-chief to hold his first solo news conference.
The president has gone longer than his 15 most recent predecessors — going back 100 years — without taking questions from the press in the more official forum.
President Donald Trump held his first solo press conference 27 days after taking office, while President Barack Obama held one 20 days into the job.
In his 55 days thus far in office, Biden has spoken to reporters briefly before boarding the presidential aircraft and has taken some questions from the press after making public statements about the coronavirus and other matters.
He has not, however, faced reporters alone in an extended presser since becoming leader of the free world.
A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment on when to expect his joint address and solo press conference to be scheduled.
A president’s first address to Congress is usually scheduled within the first few weeks of a new administration.
While the speech is structured like a State of the Union address, a president cannot technically deliver that until he has served one year in office, so the first speech is not given the same name.
The White House has said the president was preoccupied addressing the coronavirus pandemic and passing his $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law last week.
Both White House press secretary Jen Psaki and chief of staff Ron Klain said separately earlier this month that the president prioritized the COVID relief legislation over preparing a traditional speech.
When asked about the matter by Punchbowl News earlier this month, Klain said, “I think we wanted to get through this rescue plan first and get it done and get it passed. And we will go to the country and take a few weeks to explain the plan.
“I think shortly after that you will see him work with the Congress on a joint address that is appropriate for COVID and all of these other times we are living in.”
Psaki, meanwhile, argued that Biden’s focus was on the pandemic, which was going to require that changes be made to the address.
“There is not — it is not a snubbing happening here. We are in the middle of a global pandemic, and of course, any joint session speech would look different than the past,” she said.
“We certainly intend on the president delivering a joint session speech, not a State of the Union, in the first year that they are in office,” she continued.