House Republicans ask Pelosi to reschedule Biden's address to Congress

A group of GOP lawmakers on Monday asked Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden reverses Trump limits on transgender protections The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Infrastructure, Cheney ouster on deck as Congress returns This week: Congressional leaders to meet with Biden amid GOP reckoning MORE (D-Calif.) to reschedule President BidenJoe BidenCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Manchin, Biden huddle amid talk of breaking up T package Overnight Energy: 5 takeaways from the Colonial Pipeline attack | Colonial aims to 'substantially' restore pipeline operations by end of week | Three questions about Biden's conservation goals MORE's address to Congress set for next week to a time when the House is in session.

They further called on Pelosi to extend invitations to all members of Congress, instead of limiting it to a smaller number due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Scheduling this address for a day when the House is not in session and prohibiting Members of Congress from attending would be unprecedented and undermine the very spirit of our representative, constitutional Republic," GOP Reps. Claudia Tenney (N.Y.), Tom McClintockThomas (Tom) Milller McClintockLawmakers tout bipartisan support for resolution criticizing Iran's government House Republicans ask Pelosi to reschedule Biden's address to Congress GOP lawmakers ask Mayorkas for documents on warnings from DHS to Biden on immigration MORE (Calif.), Randy WeberRandall (Randy) Keith WeberTexas Republicans condemn state Democrats for response to official calling Scott an 'Oreo' House Republicans ask Pelosi to reschedule Biden's address to Congress McCarthy seeks shift from party's civil war MORE (Texas), Russ Fulcher (Idaho), Lauren BoebertLauren BoebertMaher on Biden's trillion plans: 'Thank God we got Mexico to pay for that wall' Democrats accuse GOP of new lows in culture wars Boebert takes out space blanket during Biden speech to draw attention to border surge MORE (Colo.), Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertPence to give keynote address at National Conservative Student Conference Gaetz, House Republicans introduce bill to defund Postal Service covert operations program 136 Republicans get Fs in accountability rankings from anti-Trump GOP group MORE (Texas), Dan Bishop (N.C.), Madison Cawthorn (N.C.), Greg SteubeWilliam (Greg) Gregory SteubeGaetz, House Republicans introduce bill to defund Postal Service covert operations program Hillicon Valley: Tech companies duke it out at Senate hearing | Seven House Republicans vow to reject donations from Big Tech Seven House Republicans vow to reject donations from Big Tech MORE (Fla.) and Van TaylorVan TaylorHouse Republicans ask Pelosi to reschedule Biden's address to Congress Six ways to visualize a divided America House approves rules package for new Congress MORE (Texas) wrote in a letter to Pelosi.


The House is scheduled to be in a committee work period next week, meaning that most members will be working in their districts while conducting hearings and markups virtually. The Senate, meanwhile, is expected to be in session next Monday through Thursday.

A limited number of lawmakers are expected to attend Wednesday's address, which will come a day before Biden's 100th day in office. House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerCapitol Police watchdog back in spotlight amid security concerns On The Money: Weekly jobless claims fall to 498K, hitting new post-lockdown low | House to advance appropriations bills in June, July House to consider anti-Asian hate crimes bill, protections for pregnant workers this month MORE (D-Md.) told reporters last week that the House would remain in a committee-work week because "relatively few" members will be present for the address anyway.

Aside from members of Congress, Hoyer said there will be a "limited number" of Supreme Court justices, members of Biden's Cabinet, and members of the Ambassador Corps. But unlike past joint addresses, lawmakers will not be allowed to invite guests.

"We will not feel it necessary to have a session because there will be relatively few House members who will be in attendance," Hoyer said.

"And, of course, we are working that week. We're just working in committee," he added.


But the GOP lawmakers noted that the House chamber can accommodate about 950 people and argued it would only be at 50 percent capacity if all 535 members of the House and Senate were in attendance.

"In our nation’s history, it is unprecedented to convene a joint session of Congress such as this without extending an invitation to all members of Congress. As you know, the House Chamber and House Gallery can accommodate about 950 individuals. We understand the need to prioritize the safety of members and believe strongly that with the right precautions and social distancing measures a space designed to accommodate almost 1,000 individuals can operate at about 50 percent capacity to safely accommodate all members of the House and Senate who attend," they wrote.

It's estimated that most members of Congress have been vaccinated for COVID-19. As of last month, the Capitol physician's office estimated that about 75 percent of House members had been vaccinated.

A CNN survey last month also found that all Senate Democrats and all but a few Senate Republicans had been vaccinated.

A growing number of congressional staff have also received vaccines after the Capitol physician's office began distributing the shots more widely last month.