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President Biden is gearing up for his State of the Union address, having once again missed the deadline to present his spending and national security plans to Congress. This delay has sparked the interest of some Republicans in Congress who are advocating for accountability through a proposed act called the SUBMIT IT Act.

Under the SUBMIT IT Act, if a president fails to submit their budget request and national security proposal to Congress by the required deadline (the first Monday in February), they would be barred from delivering the State of the Union address. This act, sponsored by Rep. Buddy Carter of Georgia, aims to enforce existing laws such as the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 and the National Security Act of 1947, which lack effective enforcement mechanisms.

Carter emphasized the importance of timely submission, stating that without the necessary budget and security plans, the president should not be permitted to address Congress on the state of the nation. The SUBMIT IT Act, if enacted, would prevent House or Senate leadership from extending an invitation for the State of the Union until Congress receives both plans.

While this proposed legislation wouldn’t impact President Biden’s upcoming State of the Union address scheduled for March 7, it could influence future addresses starting from 2025 and beyond. Biden’s delay in submitting budget proposals is not an isolated case, as past presidents, including Donald Trump, have also missed deadlines.

Sen. Joni Ernst echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the need for substantive plans rather than empty rhetoric, especially during challenging times such as economic inflation and global instability. The delay in budget submissions has become a recurring issue over the years, prompting calls for reform to ensure timely evaluation by Congress and the public.

Historically, presidents have faced challenges meeting budget submission deadlines, with instances of tardiness stretching back decades. Amendments to these deadlines have been made over time, with the current requirement set for the first Monday in February.

Although the Constitution mandates the president to provide a State of the Union update to Congress, the format of this message has evolved. While it initially involved a written annual message, President Woodrow Wilson transitioned to delivering a speech to a joint session of Congress in 1913, setting a new tradition.

Invitations to deliver the State of the Union address have traditionally been a formality extended by congressional leadership. However, instances like Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s temporary withholding of an invitation to President Trump during a government shutdown in 2019 highlight the potential for such invitations to be used as leverage in political negotiations.