Obama Avoids Showdown on Speech to Congress

Washington, Sep 1 (IANS): President Barack Obama has agreed to move his much awaited speech on fixing the economy by a day to avoid a political showdown with a Republican presidential debate.

But neither the White House nor the Republican speaker John Boehner made a reference to the opposition party debate in moving Obama's address to a joint session of Congress from Sep 7 to Sep 8.

"Today, the president asked to address the Congress about the need for urgent action on the economic situation facing the American people as soon as Congress returned from recess," the White House said Wednesday night. But the Speaker determined "Thursday (Sep 8) would work better".

"The president is focused on the urgent need to create jobs and grow our economy, so he welcomes the opportunity to address a Joint Session of Congress on Thursday, September 8th and challenge our nation's leaders to start focusing 100 percent of their attention on doing whatever they can to help the American people."

A political showdown had erupted earlier Wednesday over Obama's sudden request to address a joint session Wednesday.

Boehner, in a letter to Obama, said the 8 p.m. speech would come less than two hours after the House is scheduled to complete legislative business, and the speaker recommended moving it back a day. Boehner's letter noted that security sweeps of the chamber usually take more than three hours.

"There are considerations about the congressional calendar that must be made prior to scheduling such an extraordinary event," Boehner wrote.

Obama's requested date conflicted with a Republican presidential debate to be held at the Reagan Library in California. Earlier, when asked about that conflict, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney brushed it off.

"This is the right time to do it (and) the right day to do it," Carney said in reference to Obama's speech. If the Republicans want to "adjust the timing of their debate ... that would be completely fine with us."


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Title: Obama Avoids Showdown on Speech to Congress

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