Countdown to Biden’s 2024 State of the Union: Essential Timing Guide for Tonight’s Address

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Countdown to Biden's 2024 State of the Union: Essential Timing Guide for Tonight's Address

President Biden is gearing up to deliver his final State of the Union address on Thursday evening as he anticipates a potential rematch with his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, in November.

This year’s speech will mark President Biden’s third address since taking office in 2021, with his fourth address scheduled during a joint session of Congress. Annual remarks serve as a means for the president to outline his administration’s policy accomplishments and priorities for the months ahead, now reaching their largest television audience amid the approaching election season.

The presidential election of 2024 is eight months away, and a showdown between Biden and Trump in the general election seems almost certain. The president could utilize his speech to navigate disagreements and allay concerns between his party and the GOP, particularly regarding his age.

The President’s address brings together all three branches of government, as members of both the House and Senate, along with the Vice President, Supreme Court justices, and members of Biden’s cabinet, will be present.

When will the State of the Union address begin?

President Biden’s State of the Union address is set to begin at 9 p.m. ET.

How long have State of the Union addresses lasted in recent years?

President Biden’s first two addresses occurred in 2022 and 2023, following elections in two states. His inaugural speech as president, delivered several months after his inauguration, technically wasn’t a State of the Union, but rather an “address to a joint session of Congress.”

According to the American Presidency Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the 2023 State of the Union on February 7 lasted for 1 hour and 13 minutes. Biden’s March 1, 2022, State of the Union address lasted for 1 hour, 1 minute, and 50 seconds. His April 28, 2021, address lasted for 1 hour, 5 minutes, and 8 seconds.

Trump’s remarks tended to be slightly longer in duration compared to his successor. According to the American Presidency Project, his February 4, 2020, State of the Union address lasted for 1 hour, 18 minutes, and 4 seconds. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi notably tore up a copy of his remarks during the speech.

According to the American Presidency Project, his February 5, 2019, address lasted for 1 hour, 22 minutes, and 25 seconds, while his January 30, 2018, State of the Union address lasted for 1 hour, 20 minutes, and 32 seconds.

What time will the Republican response to Biden’s speech begin?

Alabama Senator Katie Britt, the first woman elected to represent the state in the Senate, will deliver the Republican response to President Biden’s State of the Union. It will likely begin shortly after the president concludes his remarks, possibly around 10 p.m. ET.

How long do responses from opposition parties typically last?

Responses from opposition party members are typically much shorter compared to the State of the Union addresses.

Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders provided a GOP response in 2023, speaking for approximately 14 minutes and 37 seconds.

In 2022, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds delivered a Republican response, which lasted for approximately 14 minutes and 20 seconds.

Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina delivered a Republican response in 2021, speaking for approximately 14 minutes and 31 seconds.

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