First lady announces virtual guests for Biden’s address to Congress

First lady Jill Biden will host five guests virtually during President Biden’s speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, including a beneficiary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the first openly transgender teen to testify before Congress.

The first lady typically hosts special guests when a president delivers their State of the Union or joint session speech. But with the coronavirus pandemic prompting restrictions for Biden’s Wednesday address, Jill Biden has invited her five attendees to join her for a virtual reception before watching the speech remotely. 

Each of the guests is meant to highlight some aspect of Biden’s agenda that he will lay out during his remarks, according to the first lady’s office.

Jill Biden will welcome Javier Quiroz Castro, a DACA recipient whose parents brought him to the United States when he was 3 years old. Castro is now a registered nurse living in Houston who has worked on the front lines of the pandemic. The president is expected to call on Congress to pass immigration reform, and specifically to approve permanent protections for Dreamers, those who were brought to the country illegally as young children.

Two of the first lady’s guests reflect the president’s proposals to invest in the nation’s physical infrastructure and in child care and family programs. One is Maria-Isabel Ballivian, who runs a child development center in Virginia, and the other is Theron Rutyna, who is a member of Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’s (D) Broadband Task Force and has been working to secure broadband access for tribal communities in the state.

The president is also expected to urge Congress to pass tougher gun laws after recent mass shootings in Colorado, Georgia and Indiana. The first lady will host Tatiana Washington, a gun violence prevention advocate from Wisconsin whose aunt was killed in 2017 in a domestic violence incident.

Jill Biden will also host Stella Keating, who in March became the first openly transgender teenager to testify before the Senate when she appeared during a hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Equality Act, which has passed the House and would expand protections for LGBT people. 

The first lady is scheduled to attend the president’s speech in person when it begins at 9 p.m. EDT. Roughly 200 people total are expected in the chamber for Biden’s speech due to coronavirus-related restrictions.

Tags Biden address to Congress Jill Biden Joe Biden Joint Address to Congress Tony Evers
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video