WASHINGTON -- President Obama is to deliver the State of the Union address Feb. 12, just days before the government may hit its self-imposed debt limit and be unable to pay some of its bills.
The timing of the annual address to Congress ensures Obama’s speech will be yet another chapter in his ongoing and seemingly endless fiscal battle with congressional Republicans. House Speaker John Boehner, (R-Ohio) has said his Republican majority won’t vote to raise the limit without also winning budget cuts equal to the increase.
Obama has said he won’t negotiate over the debt ceiling.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner notified Congress last year that he had begun taking steps to avoid defaulting on its bills and said the moves would delay default until late February. Further complicating this round of budget bickering, a set of deep spending cuts is scheduled to kick in in early March as part of the fiscal cliff compromise settled last week.
Despite the acrimonious climate, Boehner on Friday announced his invitation to the president to appear before Congress in a letter hailing bipartisanship and inviting Obama to present his “plan and specific solutions for addressing America’s great challenges.”
“Our nation continues to face immense challenges, and the American people expect us to work together in the new year to find meaningful solutions. This will require a willingness to seek common ground as well as presidential leadership,” Boehner said.
The White House said it had accepted the invitation.