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State of the Union Address

Article II, Section 3 of the United States Constitution requires that the president give information to Congress on the state of the union. The founders, however, did not specify when, how often, or in what manner the information should be delivered. Furthermore, presidents can also recommend policies they believe “necessary and expedient.” The State of the Union Address (SUA) highlights much of what the president believes Congress should do in the upcoming legislative session. Over the years, the SUA has been known by various names, including the “annual message” until 1934 when it was called the Annual Message to Congress on the State of the Union. Finally, in the 1940s, it became known as the State of the Union Address. George Washington established the precedent ...

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