Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner has asked President Obama to move his Sept. 7 speech to the next day -- possibly to avoid a conflict with an already scheduled Republican primary debate.
A NBC/Politico Republican presidential primary debate had long been set for Sept. 7 when President Obama announced his intentions to address a joint session of Congress on the same night. Boehner has politely asked Obama to move his speech to the next day, citing scheduling issues for a joint speech on Sept. 7.
With the significant amount of time -- typically more than three hours -- that is required to allow for a security sweep of the House Chamber before receiving a President, it is my recommendation that your address be held on the following evening, when we can ensure there will be no parliamentary or logistical impediments that might detract from your remarks, Boehner said in a statement.
Boehner stated that Congress was not scheduled to vote until 6:30 p.m. and that it would require more than three hours to properly conduct a security sweep before a presidential address.
It's unclear whether Obama purposely scheduled a speech on the same day as a Republican televised debate, but he certainly was aware one was going on.
When pressed by reporters about the timing of the debate, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called it coincidental but also quipped, There's one president, there's 20-some-odd debates.
The Republican debate was set to air on MSNBC at 8 p.m. and be co-moderated by NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams. The debate features eight Republican presidential candidates and is set at former president Ronald Reagan's Presidential Library in California.
NBC has announced the Republican debate will still occur on Sept. 7 -- whether Obama gives an address or not -- but did not mention whether a time change would be implemented.