President Joe Biden hand-picked the audience for his speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday in a decision that some Republicans are condemning as partisan.
The president reportedly limited the number of people who could be in the House chamber for his first formal address to Congress to 200 select “pre-screened individuals” including legislators, Supreme Court justices, cabinet members, and others invited by Biden and the First Lady.
While many legislators are already vaccinated against the virus, the administration reportedly limited the capacity due to COVID-19 protocols and forced some such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and White House staff to stay home.
“Most of our staff, if not all of our staff, will be watching virtually,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. “We’re determining how we can, of course, engage the public and ensure we highlight some of the incredible stories of people who have been helped by the president’s policies and proposals. But it