Baseless claim Biden changed State of Union speech from summer to March 7 | Fact check

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The claim: Biden changed State of the Union date from summer to March 7

A Jan. 19 Instagram post (direct link, archive link) includes a video of a man claiming President Joe Biden made a change to a major annual address.

“Guess what’s gonna happen on March 7?” the man says at one point. “The State of the Union. When a puppet Biden comes in and gives a speech. Now why did he change the State of the Union from the summer to March 7?”

He went on to claim Biden would step down on that date so that former First Lady Michelle Obama could run against former President Donald Trump.

The video received more than 800 likes in less than a week.

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Our rating: False

A White House spokesperson said the claim is false. The State of the Union was never scheduled for summer and has never been held in summer. And the president is not in charge of choosing the date.

House Speaker sets State of the Union date

A White House spokesperson told USA TODAY the claim is false.

The president does not select the date for the address. Rather, the Speaker of the House extends an invitation to the president to address a joint session of Congress on a particular date.

House Speaker Mike Johnson invited Biden to deliver the address March 7 in a letter posted to X, formerly Twitter, on Jan. 6. Biden accepted the invitation in a subsequent X post and said he was “looking forward to it.”

The Constitution requires the president to address Congress on the state of the union, but it does not require the address to be done on a certain date or during a particular time of year. Traditionally, the speeches have been delivered during the winter.

Former President Donald Trump, for example, had his State of the Union addresses on Jan. 30, 2018; Feb. 5, 2019; and Feb. 4, 2020.

Biden in 2022 became the first president to deliver an in-person State of the Union address in the month of March, when the event was held on March 1according to the nonpartisan Council on Foreign Relations.

Prior to that, the speeches were always delivered in January or February dating back to when they became officially known as the “State of the Union Address” during the Harry Truman administration, according to data from the University of California Santa Barbara’s American Presidency Project.

Fact check: No, Biden is not sending US troops to fight Russian troops in Ukraine

WASHINGTON DC - OCTOBER 19: U.S. President Joe Biden addresses the nation from the Oval Office of the White House on October 19, 2023 in Washington, DC. President Biden discussed the U.S.’s response to the Hamas-Israel conflict, humanitarian assistance in Gaza, and the continued support for Ukraine during Russia’s ongoing invasion. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst - Pool/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 776051119 ORIG FILE ID: 1734339822

Other elements of the Instagram post are also baseless.

There are no legitimate news reports or statements from Biden suggesting he intends to step down. Biden has begun campaigning against Trump, his presumed Republican presidential opponent.

Additionally, while Michelle Obama said she’s “terrified” about the potential 2024 presidential election results in a January podcast, she has repeatedly said she has no interest in running for the office.

USA TODAY reached out to the user who shared the post for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

PolitiFact also debunked the claim.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: False claim Biden changed State of the Union from summer | Fact check