Politics

EXCLUSIVE: Several Republicans Say They Will Not Attend Biden’s State Of The Union Address

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Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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A few Republicans in Congress will skip President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, saying they will not take a COVID-19 test in order to attend.

At least five House Republicans and one Senate Republican say they will not attend Biden’s first State of the Union, many first telling the Daily Caller that they do not believe a COVID-19 test should be required to enter the chamber for Biden’s address to Congress and saying it is strictly political.

Illinois Rep. Mary Miller, Virginia Rep. Bob Good, Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale and Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde all shared their plans to not attend the State of the Union first with the Daily Caller after Texas Rep. Chip Roy and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said they would not be attending Monday.

“Once again, Speaker Pelosi is politicizing the State of the Union to further the Radical Left’s COVID-19 agenda. Members of Congress should not be subject to COVID-19 tests and social distance when it is not necessary, and the entire nation has ended most, if not all, coronavirus restrictions,” Rosendale told the Daily Caller.

“The Hollywood elite attended the Super Bowl free of COVID-19 restrictions, so why must we, sitting Members of Congress, adhere to the demands of Nancy Pelosi? Montanans knew well over a year ago that these restrictions are pointless, and it is far past time to return to normal. Hate to break it to you, Nancy, but no one is listening to you or Dr. Fauci anymore,” Rosendale added.

Good said he refuses to take a COVID test for a speech and will not attend, mentioning Biden’s mandates.

“President Biden subjected the country to life altering mandates for over a year. I will not submit to an unnecessary COVID test to attend a State of the Union only to hear this President whisper through a speech that will inevitably fail to take responsibility for the tremendous damage he has and continues to cause to our country,” Good told the Caller.

Miller mentioned Biden’s low poll numbers and the fact the mask mandate was lifted just before Biden’s speech.

“Biden’s poll numbers plummeted to historic lows, so the Democrats are once again changing ‘THE SCIENCE’ on masks to try and use the State of the Union as a reset. The only science the Left cares about is political science!” Miller told the Caller. (RELATED: Humvees Patrol US Capitol As New Fences Go Up Ahead Of Biden’s SOTU Speech)

President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of congress as Vice President Kamala Harris (L) and Speaker of the House U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (R) look on in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol on April 28, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jim Watson – POOL/Getty Images)

Clyde mentioned the mask mandates on the House floor and the Capitol fence that has been installed around the Capitol before Biden’s speech.

“Political pandemic theater has defined the last two years, and despite Democrats’ attempts to conceal their hypocrisy, tonight’s shenanigans for the State of the Union are not the exception to their preposterous hysteria. Just last week, the presence of my maskless face on the House floor would rack up more fines under my name, but today, conveniently in time for President Biden’s State of the Union address, all members are free to decide whether they wear a mask or not,” Clyde told the Caller.

“The science never changed, but the politics — ahead of the midterm elections — sure did. I’m sick and tired of power-crazed Democrats subjecting Americans to illogical and unlawful medical tyranny, all while breaking or reversing their rules when it suits them. Forcing members to still be tested, walk through magnetometers, and socially distance just to listen to Biden’s speech of spin in the People’s House, that is surrounded by unnecessary metal fencing, feeds into their deranged narrative,” he added.

The United States Capitol attending physician Dr. Brian P. Monahan said Sunday that masks will not be required inside the Capitol beginning Monday, just one day before Biden is set to deliver his State of the Union address.

Monahan reportedly made the decision based on the current rate of positive results at the Capitol’s testing center, which has dropped to 2.7%, according to Politico. House members have been required to wear masks on the House floor, and some members have been fined for violating the mandate put in place by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who tends to follow Monahan’s guidance.

“Business processes such as committee hearings and other meetings should revise signage or operating statements to reflect interior space mask wear is optional and not required at this time,” Monahan wrote a Sunday memo. (RELATED: Capitol Attending Physician Announces Face Masks Will Be Optional Ahead Of Biden’s State Of The Union Address)

“Coronavirus circumstances, the COVID19 Community Level, may change to a ‘medium or yellow’ level where select individuals resume interior mask wear and weekly serial testing while a ‘high or orange’ level would prompt resumption of the indoor mask wear requirement for all,” he added.

The Senate has never had a mask mandate. The House chamber, where the address is delivered, can reportedly hold up to 950 people. During Biden’s first joint address to Congress, Pelosi limited the number of members who could attend the address to 25 for both parties.

Earlier in February, a group of House Republicans sent a letter to Pelosi demanding all members of Congress be allowed to attend Biden’s State of the Union address after they claimed she planned to limit the number of members who can go in person.(RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans Demand Pelosi Allow All Members Of Congress To Attend Biden’s State Of The Union Address In-Person)

“We’re still being forced to test, a fence is up, & Americans can’t visit the Capitol. While I have an obligation to be present to vote for my constituents (vs. ‘proxy’ voting), I don’t have an obligation to be there for political theater,” Roy said in a tweet Monday. His office then confirmed to the Daily Caller that he would not be attending.

Shortly after, Rubio was asked on Capitol Hill if he would be attending Biden’s State of the Union, to which he said he does not take COVID-19 tests unless he has symptoms.

“I don’t have time to go take a COVID test today,” Rubio said, according to a HuffPost reporter. “I only take a test if I’m sick.”