According to a new memo from the House sergeant at arms, all members of Congress have been invited to attend President Biden’s State of the Union address on March 1, with some limits and criteria linked to the pandemic.
Members will not be permitted to bring guests, as has always been the case. One of the mandatory admittance conditions is a negative daily health check, as well as a negative PCR test within one day of the speech and the use of an FDA-approved KN95 or N95 mask that covers the nose and mouth and must be worn at all times throughout the speech.
Vaccinations and booster shots are strongly recommended, although they are not required. It is also planned that seating will be distributed in accordance with social distancing rules.
Congressional leaders decided to invite all members of Congress after consulting with the Office of Attending Physicians, which is the House’s top medical authority, according to a memo released by the House.
Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, only a restricted number of invitations were extended to the president’s joint speech to Congress in April 2021.
The president will face a Congress that has failed to pass much of his legislative agenda, including comprehensive voting access legislation and his Build Back Better social spending package, by the time the new Congress convenes on March 1.
His address comes at a time when Americans are dissatisfied with historically low inflation rates, which have reduced their purchasing power. Foreign policy tensions with Russia remain high, with the United States asserting that Russia is capable of attacking Ukraine at any time.
The president’s message comes just a few days after he announced his intention to nominate a nominee to the Supreme Court.
He has committed to appointing a black woman to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer before the end of the month of February.
According to Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House deputy press secretary said she could begin interviewing nominees this week, despite the fact that the week is nearly over.