It's not technically a SOTU because Trump hasn't been in office for a year
The speech will address his focus for the administration
President Donald Trump is set to give an address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday – but it technically won’t be his first State of the Union address.
Trump isn’t shaking up any traditions – as he is known to do – but instead following what past presidents have done before him. His speech will be known as an “address to a joint session.”
Traditionally, a president of the United States should be in office for a year before they give their first State of the Union address.
In a State of the Union address, the president usually reflects back on the past year and how the nation is doing, as well as uses the opportunity to highlight the administration’s legislative agenda – which needs congressional support – and priorities for the country.
The Constitution states that the president “shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”
However, it is expected that Trump will use Tuesday’s speech to continue outlining his goals for his administration.
President George Washington was the first to deliver a regular address before a joint session of Congress in New York in 1790.
The message used to be known as “the President’s Annual Message to Congress,” until President Franklin D. Roosevelt referred to it as the “Annual Message to Congress on the State of the Union” in 1934.
It began to be informally called the “State of the Union” message or address from 1942 to 1946, and since 1947, it has officially been known as the State of the Union Address.
Trump’s speech is set for Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.