House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cut the guest list to President Joe Biden’s first Congressional address. She said it’s because of coronavirus, but some think she’s playing politics.
Pelosi axed 1,400 invitees from Biden’s address Wednesday, bringing the number down to just 200, Breitbart reported. However, most members of Congress have been vaccinated and therefore would have no reason to stay away.
“We went from 1,600 people to 200 people. That is a different dynamic, but it has its own worth,” Pelosi explained to the press. “It will be its own character, it will be its own wonderful character, no not worried at all.”
Some lawmakers like Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio don’t see it that way, however. “It’s interesting — when it came to coming together to impeach Donald Trump for the second time after he was out of office, they put 100 senators in the same room sitting just inches apart for hours at a time over five or six days,” Rubio explained on “Fox and Friends” Tuesday.
“Apparently COVID was not an issue then,” Rubio continued. “But now, of course, for something like this, we can’t have that many people in the room sitting next to each other. So it’s kind of silly season here.” Rubio said he would not be attending because of the limited admittance.
A group of 12 lawmakers took a similar stance in a joint letter to Pelosi. They pointed out “that on January 3, hundreds of members were on the House Floor for their swearing in, including hundreds of guests in the gallery,” it said. “If it could be safely done then, it can be safely done now, especially with more members vaccinated than ever before.”
Others objected to the address being arranged when the House of Representatives was not in session. Some House Republicans were on retreat in Florida while other lawmakers had planned events in their home districts.
Coronavirus caution has turned into pandemic hysteria for some. However, the inconsistencies in Pelosi’s practice of applying the rules may point to other motivations for cutting down the number admitted to the address.