Politics

EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans Demand Pelosi Allow All Members Of Congress To Attend Biden’s State Of The Union Address In-Person

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Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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A group of House Republicans sent a letter Thursday to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi demanding all members of Congress be allowed to attend President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address after they claimed she plans to limit the number of members who can go in person.

The Daily Caller first obtained the letter, which was spearheaded by New York Rep. Claudia Tenney and signed by ten other House Republicans. In it, the lawmakers argued the House chamber, where the address is delivered, can hold up to 950 people. The group of Republicans said Pelosi plans on limiting the number of members who can attend the address to 25 for both parties.

In January, Pelosi formally invited Biden to give his State of the Union address on March 1. That is the latest date ever announced for the annual address. (RELATED: Pelosi Announces State Of The Union Date, First Ever In March)

“This is a stunning overcompensation of social distancing that goes beyond the recommendations of even the most severe COVID alarmism, as well as the advice of public health officials and agencies like the CDC. We now find ourselves more than two years after COVID-19 emerged on our shores from China, and the current Omicron variant is far less dangerous than previous strains of the virus.

“One of our top responsibilities in Congress is oversight of the Executive. Actively participating in the President’s State of the Union Address is an important part of fulfilling this responsibility. Choosing to bar Members from attending would be a grave mistake that prevents the American people’s representatives from fulling their duties,” Tenney told the Daily Caller before sending the letter.

READ THE LETTER HERE: 

(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers

“I urge Speaker Pelosi to immediately reverse any decision to limit attendance amongst Members of Congress and to ensure our constitutionally obligated functions can be fulfilled,” Tenney added. (RELATED: President Biden’s Address To Congress Got Nearly 24 Million Less Viewers Than Trump’s Lowest-Rated SOTU Address)

House Republicans will have a chance to deliver remarks after Biden’s address. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy picked South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott to deliver the GOP’s address to the nation after Biden addressed a joint session of Congress in April 2021.

Biden’s first address to Congress got nearly 24 million fewer viewers than former President Donald Trump’s lowest-rated State of the Union address.

The Daily Caller contacted Pelosi’s office about the letter. They referred to Pelosi’s Wednesday comments to a reporter.

“We think that many more people can participate,” Pelosi told the reporter. “But it’s not anything that we can do. It’s up to the Capitol Physician. And the – I sent out a notice, again, to the Members at the guidance of the Sergeant at Arms, whose guidance comes from the Physician.”

“But, we should have some – I’m hoping that every week brings us closer to a bigger participation. My goal would be if we were able to invite every Member of Congress to the State of the Union,” she added.