House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) may be considering a cap for attendance at President Joe Biden’s upcoming State of the Union Address, according to a report from Axios.
“Scoop: McCarthy told members of Republican leadership at an ELC meeting today that Pelosi told him she was instituting a 25-member attendance cap for Biden’s State of the Union address, two sources in the room told @axios,” the outlet’s Congressional reporter tweeted late Tuesday afternoon.
Scoop: McCarthy told members of Republican leadership at an ELC meeting today that Pelosi told him she was instituting a 25-member attendance cap for Biden’s State of the Union address, two sources in the room told @axios
— Alayna Treene (@alaynatreene) February 1, 2022
“McCarthy and other Republican leaders were frustrated by the declaration. McCarthy said something to the effect of: Democrats fly on planes with more people than they planned to allow on the floor, a person in the room told Axios,” Treene added in a follow-up tweet.
Although a spokesperson for Pelosi has said that no final decisions have yet been reached, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy reportedly told colleagues on Tuesday that attendance could be limited to just 25 members from each party.
The address, scheduled for March 1, will be Biden’s first official State of the Union — but he did address a joint session of Congress just before his 100th day in office in 2021, and the audience for that address was also limited because of the pandemic. It included around 200 total attendees, including several Pentagon officials, Supreme Court justices, and Cabinet members in addition to the sitting members of Congress.
From Axios’ report:
- The spokesman said the Speaker’s Office “will work closely with the Office of the Attending Physician to accommodate as many Member requests as safely possible.”
- Biden’s Joint Address last year was attended by 55 House Democrats and 25 House Republicans, along with 35 Senate Democrats and 25 Senate Republicans, according to a Capitol official.
McCarthy and other Republicans, according to Axios’ sources, were frustrated by the news.
The Hill’s media and political columnist Joe Concha weighed in on the issue, tweeting, “Washington DC recorded *61* new cases in a city of 800,000 on Feb 1. By the time the SOTU comes, that number — outside of another variant emerging — may be even lower. What’s Pelosi’s scientific logic for this?”
“Well there goes it being the ‘back to normal’ pivot speech! Don’t tell Salon Nancy about the Super Bowl!” Phil Kerpen added.
“Wait, seriously?” Guy Benson asked.
As the highly-infectious Omicron variant continues to spread all across the nation, Congress has implemented stricter protocols for members — they have been asked to trade their cloth and surgical masks for the more effective KN-95 masks, and have been instructed not to congregate or remain on the floor longer then necessary when they come in to vote.
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