Boehner's office said Obama requested the 7 p.m. time slot, which will solve one programming problem while creating a time zone problem. A 7 pm start will allow Obama to avoid competing with pre-game coverage of the first game of the 2011 NFL season. The opening contest pits the defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers against the New Orleans Saints, who won the Super Bowl the year before.
But the pre-prime time start on the East Coast puts Obama on TV sets at 4 p.m. on the West Coast, where millions will be at work, in traffic coming home from work or retrieving children from post-school activities.
Obama will address Congress to unveil his latest proposals to accelerate economic growth and create more jobs for the flagging economy. White House economic advisers Thursday predicted in the Office of Management and Budget mid-session review that unemployment would remain in the 9 percent range this year and next.
Originally, Obama sought to deliver his speech at 8 p.m. on Sept. 7 in direct conflict with a Republican Presidential debate at the Reagan Library. Boehner rebuffed the request and suggested Sept. 8 but did not specify a time. Obama agreed Wednesday to Sept. 8 and set the time with Boehner Thursday.
Boehner's office in a statement said: "At his request, the Speaker has respectfully invited the President to address a Joint Session of Congress next Thursday at 7 p.m."
In a statement minutes later, White House Press Secretery Jay Carney said that Obama accepted.