House Speaker John Boehner invited President Barack Obama to deliver his next State of the Union address on Feb. 12. A letter confirming the date was sent out Friday. The date comes three weeks later than last year’s Jan. 24 speech, and coincides with Lincoln’s birthday.
“Our nation continues to face immense challenges, and the American people expect us to work together in the new year to find meaningful solutions,” Boehner’s letter read. “This will require a willingness to seek common ground as well as presidential leadership. For that reason, the Congress and the nation would welcome an opportunity to hear your plan and specific solutions for addressing America’s great challenges.”
Boehner has been facing challenges of his own within the Republican Party, but managed to retain a second term as speaker of the House last week. A group of 12 GOP members chose not to vote for Boehner, a statement against his leadership of the House majority.
“What I did is – what we did is, we are challenging leadership to let them know we’re going to hold them accountable just like I get held accountable in my district by my constituents.” Congressman Yoho (R-Fla), told NPR. “And we want to let them know that we’re watching.”
“It just shows there is a group that is prepared to withhold their support from Boehner’s initiatives in specific circumstances,” David Rhode, congressional scholar, told NPR of the budding faction within House Republicans. “So when he’s trying to organize procedural devices on specific issues as they go down the line, like the debt ceiling for example, he may not have the votes among Republicans to do it.”