Donald Trump invited to give State of the Union address to Congress at end-January

Trump during a meeting with Crown Prince of Bahrain Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa at the White House, Nov 30 2017.
Trump during a meeting with Crown Prince of Bahrain Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa at the White House, Nov 30 2017. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Donald Trump has been invited to give the traditional State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Jan 30, House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Thursday (Nov 30).

"The New Year will bring an opportunity to take account of the progress we have made but also lay out the work that still remains to be done on behalf of the American people," Ryan said in his letter of invitation to Trump.

The President, and the Republicans who control Congress, still lack a major legislative accomplishment 10 months into his mandate, after failing to pass health-care, immigration or infrastructure reforms.

But the President is now in reach of a major political victory in the Senate, where his controversial tax reform Bill is expected to come to a vote by Friday.

The State of the Union address is a presidential obligation that allows him to explain to the American people and their elected representatives his priorities for the coming year.

George Washington gave the first such address on Jan 8, 1790.

Trump did not give the speech in January because he had just assumed office, but he addressed a joint session of Congress on Feb 28.

His presentation was well-received as one of the more presidential addresses during a rowdy, atypical start to a mandate in which he cast aside the conventional forms of behaviour of a US chief executive.