President Barack Obama requested a joint session of Congress at 8 p.m. EDT on Sept. 7 to unveil new jobs proposals -- the same night Republican presidential candidates are scheduled to debate each other in California.

It is coincidental. ... There are a lot of factors that go into scheduling a joint session of Congress for a speech, said White House press secretary Jay Carney at a Wednesday press briefing. You can never find a perfect time.

In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), Obama said It is my intention to lay out a series of bipartisan proposals that the Congress can take immediately to continue to rebuild the American economy by strengthening small businesses, helping Americans get back to work, and putting more money in the paychecks of the middle class and working Americans, while still reducing our deficit and getting our fiscal house in order.

The U.S. Labor Department said the unemployment rate was 9.1 percent in July.

After a bus tour of the Midwest in mid-August, Obama said I have heard a consistent message: Washington needs to put aside politics and start making decisions based on what is best for our country and not what is best for each of our parties in order to grow the economy and create jobs. We must answer this call.

Eight Republican presidential candidates are scheduled to hold a debate next Wednesday at the Ronald Regan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said on Twitter that Obama's request to give jobs speech the same night as GOP Presidential debate is further proof this [White House] is all politics all the time.