Not like former President Trump’s February 2017 handle to a joint session of Congress by which members had no particular seating preparations, there will likely be limits on the variety of senators and representatives within the chamber on Wednesday because of social-distancing necessities, a Capitol official informed Fox Information.
In step with custom, nonetheless, Vice President Kamala Harris and Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi will sit on both facet of the president throughout his speech.
Members of Congress will even be seated within the Gallery and on the Home Flooring to make sure social distancing, and company is not going to be allowed to attend the occasion. An estimated 200 persons are anticipated to be seated within the chamber for Biden’s speech, however a closing quantity has but to be decided, the Capitol official stated.
These 200 attendees embody 80 representatives and 60 senators. Usually, there are about 1,600 folks at presidential addresses like this one.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chief Justice John Roberts are additionally anticipated to attend the occasion. First woman Jill Biden will even be on the speech, however there is not going to be a “first women’ field” as has been custom previously, White Home press secretary Jen Psaki stated throughout a Tuesday briefing.
“Whereas the speech will, after all, appear and feel totally different from previous years, the president will protect just a few traditions, together with the stroll down the middle aisle, that now we have seen presidents do for a few years,” Psaki stated.
Biden, who has been totally vaccinated towards COVID-19, will put on a masks when he walks down the middle aisle however not be required to put on a masks whereas talking.
Members of Congress, nonetheless, will likely be required to put on masks on the ground through the occasion in keeping with a Home rule applied on Jan. four, a White Home Democratic aide informed Fox Information.
Former Vice President Mike Pence notably didn’t put on a masks whereas giving a Jan. 6 speech concerning election certification outcomes after rioters broke into the Capitol.
The president will meet with people who had been current through the Jan. 6 Capitol riot forward of his speech.
Extra safety measures will even be put in place.
The U.S. Secret Service, Capitol Police, Metropolitan Police Division, U.S. Park Police and different businesses will present safety for what will likely be a really locked-down Capitol Complicated on Wednesday.
Beginning at 7 p.m., sections of plenty of streets will likely be closed off, together with Pennsylvania Avenue NW and Structure Avenue NW. Seventeen whole streets will see no less than some degree of closure Wednesday.
Folks with occasion credentials and with congressional IDs would be the solely folks allowed on the Capitol grounds beginning at 7 p.m. Automobiles will likely be topic to comparable restrictions.
Whereas Biden’s main coverage announcement through the handle will likely be about his $1.eight trillion American Households plan, which she described as a “historic funding in training and childcare,” he will even focus on police reform, immigration, gun security and the pandemic, Psaki stated.
Fox Information will air the handle stay at 9 p.m. EST.
Fox Information’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.