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Obama Schedules Jobs Speech for the Same Night as Next GOP Debate
President Barack Obama, seen here delivering the State of the Union in January, will address a joint session of Congress next week. (AP File Photo)

Obama Schedules Jobs Speech for the Same Night as Next GOP Debate

"It is coincidental."

The date of President Barack Obama's much-anticipated jobs speech has been announced -- and it's the same night as the next Republican presidential debate.

According to The Hill, Obama will address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 8 p.m., the same time GOP 2012 hopefuls will face off at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.

“It is my intention to lay out a series of bipartisan proposals that the Congress can take immediately to continue to rebuild the American economy by strengthening small businesses, helping Americans get back to work, and putting more money in the paychecks of the Middle Class and working Americans, while still reducing our deficit and getting our fiscal house in order," Obama said in a letter to congressional leaders requesting the joint session. "It is our responsibility to find bipartisan solutions to help grow our economy, and if we are willing to put country before party, I am confident we can do just that."

White House press secretary Jay Carney said the speech was "of course not" purposely scheduled for the same night as the Republican debate.

"It is coincidental," Carney said. "There are a lot of factors that go into scheduling a speech before Congress, a joint session."

Carney added the president is not trying to overshadow the Republican field, saying "there's one president, there's 20-some-odd debates."

"One debate of many that's on one channel of many was not enough [of a] reason" to pick another date, he said.

Carney suggested NBC, which is co-hosting the debate with Politico, could consider rescheduling.

"A network could make a decision to alter the timing of the debate by an hour," Carney said. "If the network so chose and the candidates so chose" to reschedule, "that would be completely fine with us."

Aside from the State of the Union, the last time Obama addressed a joint session of Congress was in 2009 regarding health care. Prior to that, the last time a joint session was convened for a speech other than the State of the Union was when former President George W. Bush spoke shortly after the September 11 attacks.

Neither House Speaker John Boehner nor Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have yet responded to the president's request, Carney said.

View Carney's remarks below, via Mediaite:

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