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Obama Asks To Address Congress Next Week To Lay Out Jobs Plan

President Obama wants to lay out his latest jobs plan before a joint session of Congress next Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET. (Note at 4:45 p.m ET: The address may not happen until Thursday; see our update below.)

In a letter sent to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and just released to the news media, the president writes that:

"Our Nation faces unprecedented economic challenges, and millions of hardworking Americans continue to look for jobs. 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.

"Therefore, I respectfully request the opportunity to address a Joint Session of Congress on September 7, 2011, at 8:00 p.m. 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. 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."

Update at 10:45 p.m. ET: Thursday It Is.

The White House has issued a statement saying it agrees with Boehner's suggestion to give the address on Thursday the 8th instead. That raises a new scheduling issue: the NFL season kicks off that evening.

Update at 4:25 p.m. ET. Boehner Proposes Thursday Instead:

Saying that the House isn't scheduled to be in session until Wednesday and that since a "significant amount of time — typically more than three hours — ... is required to allow for a security sweep of the House Chamber before receiving a President," Boehner has sent a letter to the White House suggesting "a Joint Session of Congress on Thursday, Sept. 8."

The speaker adds that he's making the suggestion "on behalf of the bipartisan leadership and membership of both the House and Senate."

Update at 12:25 p.m. ET:8 p.m. ET on Sept. 7 is also the scheduled starting time of a Republican contenders presidential debate.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.