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Four reasons why President Biden's address to Congress will be historically different

Biden Address
Posted at 4:29 PM, Apr 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-26 16:40:09-04

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is slated to deliver an address to Congress on Wednesday, and it's his first since taking office.

This is not considered a State of the Union, since those are traditionally reserved for presidents with at least a year in office.

There will be some historic changes in his speech to Congress.

CHANGE #1

The first major reason President Biden's speech will look different is that not every member of Congress is invited.

Because of the pandemic, it will only be limited to 200 members, which means many members will not be able to attend.

Traditionally, every member of Congress is guaranteed a seat, with many even bringing a guest.

CHANGE #2

When the president is traditionally introduced, he is greeted by hugs and handshakes as he walks down the main aisle.

That will not be the case as physical distancing guidelines will be strictly enforced.

CHANGE #3

Women will also take center stage in a way that has never happened before.

Traditionally, the vice president and speaker of the House sit behind the president as he gives the address.

Vice President Kamala Harris gets the honor because she is also president of the Senate.

For the first time ever, two women will sit behind President Biden.

It will be Vice President Harris' first time in the chair, while Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been there several times before.

CHANGE #4

Republicans won't be the only party delivering an official response to President Biden.

While Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) will get the honor for Republicans, progressives have announced their intention to deliver a rebuttal, too.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) will get that responsibility for progressives.

President Biden's speech is slated to begin around 9:00 p.m. ET Wednesday.