Friday, December 7, 2007

Joint Sessions of the United States Congress are the gathering together of both House and Senate which occur on special occasions such as the State of the Union Address and Presidential Inauguration.

Forms of Joint Session and Joint Meeting

Main article: State of the Union Address State of the Union
In addition to State of the Union Addresses, inaugurals and counting of electoral votes, Joint Sessions usually fall into one of several topics.

Subjects of Joint Sessions and Joint Meetings
Foreign Heads of State and Heads of Government from 48 countries have addressed Joint Meetings of Congress more than one hundred times. Heads of State or Government from the United Kingdom have addressed Joint Meetings most often - eight times. Prime Minister Winston Churchill addressed Congress three of those eight times.
Twice have Joint Meetings been attended by the Heads of State or Government from two countries. On September 18, 1978, Congress was addressed by Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt, and Menachem Begin, Prime Minister of Israel. On July 26, 1994, Congress was addressed by Hussein I, King of Jordan, and Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel.
On February 28, 2006, Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of Italy, addressed the Congress at the invitation of President Bush; before him just three other Italian statesmen had the honour of addressing the Congress: Alcide De Gasperi, Giovanni Gronchi, and Bettino Craxi.

Joint session of the United States Congress Foreign dignitaries
In addition to State of the Union Addresses, Presidents deliver addresses to Congress on specific subjects. The first such speech was delivered by John Adams on the subject of US relations with France. The most popular subjects for such addresses are economic, military and foreign policy issues.
Some of these addresses, such as Bill Clinton's 1993 Economic Address and George W. Bush's Budget Message of 2001, are sometimes wrongly labeled as State of Union Addresses.

Presidential addresses
Joint Meetings of Congress are sometimes called to hear addresses by Generals, Admirals or other military leaders. Perhaps the most notable example is Douglas MacArthur's farewell address to Congress.

Joint session of the United States Congress Military leaders
Six times in the first decade of the Space Age, Congress jointly met to be addressed by Astronauts after their trips in space.

Nine times, Congress has jointly met to hold a memorial service for a deceased President or former President. Congress has also met to memorialize Vice President James Sherman and Marquis de La Fayette.

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