Article II, Sec. 3 requires that the President of the United States inform Congress of the State of the Union. Through our elected representatives, We the People are: 1. to be informed about how our country is doing 2. to be given any recommendations the President thinks are necessary. The Constitution says it this way:
“He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient ….”
You also know that the President must be invited to Congress. He must request to come into the People’s House. This is because our government is run from the bottom up, not the top down.
Accordingly, you may not know that President Thomas Jefferson (and others) sent his State of the Union to Congress on paper. The Constitution does not require an in-person delivery. The President could write it on scrap paper and send it to Congress! As you can imagine, the advent of radio and television makes that unlikely. We are more likely to hear a partisan campaign speech (free advertisement) with accusations than a line-by-line state of our union with recommendations.
What It’s Not Meant to Be
We the People, that is, you and me, through our elected representatives, are required by law to be informed of how our nation is doing. If I asked you about the physical, fiscal, structural, and emotional State of your family, you could tell me in short order and expand on them if necessary. Likewise, the information We the People are supposed to receive should bring us “up to speed” on the State of the Union. Our elected representatives, nor are we to be lectured to, criticized, threatened, or the like.
What We the People Expect
So, We the People are to be informed. If our elected representatives show disfavor or applause, they are reacting to the information. If we don’t like their reaction, we can tell them. However, the President’s job is simply to inform you and me. We should expect nothing less than the facts of the State of our Union.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.🇺🇸
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