What Is the State of the Union Address?

What Is the State of the Union Address?

The State of the Union address is the annual address given by the president of the United States in a joint session of the U.S. Congress. It is designed to be a report on the economic and social state of the nation.

The State of the Union address is mandated by Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution. Although early addresses concerned only a budget message and a general report on the health of the economy, more recent addresses have evolved to include reports on the various departments of the executive branch. They have also become a platform for the president to articulate and garner support for his agenda. Historically, the president only submitted a written status to Congress; however, advances in radio and television afforded the president an opportunity to deliver the State of the Union address directly to the people.