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Dispute erupts over timing of Obama address to Congress!
President Obama wants to address a joint session of Congress about the economy next week.
GOP suggests moving the speech to September 8, citing security, timing concerns
President Obama asks for time to deliver a jobs address to Congress September 7
White House brushes off concerns that speech will overlap with a GOP presidential debate
Unemployment is currently 9.1%
Washington (CNN) -- Top House Republicans objected Wednesday to President Barack Obama's sudden request to deliver an economic address to a joint session of Congress on the evening of September 7, arguing that the White House failed to provide enough time for the chamber to complete its legislative business that day.
More specifically, GOP leaders cited security concerns, noting that the White House requested use of the House chamber for an 8 p.m. address -- less than two hours after the House is scheduled to complete legislative business.
Security sweeps of the chamber, according to a formal response from House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, usually take more than three hours. Boehner countered with a suggestion to move the speech to Thursday, September 8 -- a date numerous observers pointed out would conflict with the opening game of the National Football League's regular season.
"There are considerations about the congressional calendar that must be made prior to scheduling such an extraordinary event," Boehner wrote in a letter to Obama. "With the significant amount of time -- typically more than three hours -- that is required to allow for a security sweep of the House chamber before receiving a president, it is my recommendation that your address be held on the following evening, when we can ensure there will be no parliamentary or logistical impediments that might detract from your remarks."
Obama's jobs plan: What's the holdup?
One senior GOP aide told CNN that "arranging a joint session of Congress isn't as simple as snapping our fingers."
The White House provided little advance notice of the speech request to congressional Democrats, according to one Democratic source. The GOP aide stressed that Republicans were not consulted at all, and said they were notified only 15 minutes before the public release of Obama's request.
The aide noted that events like president's State of the Union address typically involve as much as four to six weeks of lead time and consultation, involving a series of meetings between police, Secret Service officials, and others.
Obama's request for a Wednesday evening speech was accepted by the leadership of the Democratic-controlled Senate, according to a Democratic Senate leadership aide. The approval of leaders from both chambers of Congress, however, is required for such a presidential request to be accepted.
Obama's speech is intended to provide a prime-time platform for the rollout of his highly anticipated job growth plan.
"Our nation faces unprecedented economic challenges, and millions of hard-working Americans continue to look for jobs," Obama said in a letter sent earlier Wednesday to Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada.
"As I have traveled across our country this summer and spoken with our fellow Americans, I have heard a consistent message: Washington needs to put aside politics and start making decisions based on what is best for our country and not what is best for each of our parties in order to grow the economy and create jobs. We must answer this call."
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