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

A group of GOP lawmakers on Monday asked Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMan who threatened to kill Ocasio-Cortez, Pelosi pleads guilty to federal charges The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems look to repackage BBB into salvageable bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden clarifies his remarks on Russia MORE (D-Calif.) to reschedule President BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: US reaffirms support for Ukraine amid threat of Russian invasion The Fed has a clear mandate to mitigate climate risks Biden says Roe v. Wade under attack like 'never before' 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 McClintockCongress to take up marijuana reform this spring Vaccine mandate backlash sparks concerns of other health crises The right fire to fight fire — why limiting prescribed burning is short-sighted MORE (Calif.), Randy WeberRandall (Randy) Keith WeberGOP leader's marathon speech forces House Democrats to push vote McCarthy delays swift passage of spending plan with record-breaking floor speech New group of GOP lawmakers file articles of impeachment against Biden MORE (Texas), Russ Fulcher (Idaho), Lauren BoebertLauren BoebertMask rules spark political games and a nasty environment in the House Boebert asked Jewish visitors to Capitol if they were doing 'reconnaissance': report GOP Reps. Greene, Clyde accrue nearly 0K in combined mask fines MORE (Colo.), Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertFocus on Perry could mean more subpoenas, challenges for Jan. 6 panel Members of Congress not running for reelection in 2022 House Ethics panel dismisses security screening fine issued to GOP lawmaker MORE (Texas), Dan Bishop (N.C.), Madison Cawthorn (N.C.), Greg SteubeWilliam (Greg) Gregory SteubeThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - To vote or not? Pelosi faces infrastructure decision GOP ekes out win in return of Congressional Baseball Game 21 Republicans vote against awarding medals to police who defended Capitol MORE (Fla.) and Van TaylorVan TaylorWHIP LIST: How House Democrats, Republicans say they'll vote on infrastructure bill Shakespeare gets a congressional hearing in this year's 'Will on the Hill' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate path uncertain after House approves Jan. 6 panel 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 HoyerPelosi says she's open to stock trading ban for Congress Former Maryland rep announces bid for old House seat Fury over voting rights fight turns personal on Capitol Hill  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.