Six Republican members of Congress have announced that they do not plan to attend President Joe Biden’s first official State of the Union Address on Tuesday evening.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL):
Rubio hinted in mid-February that he would likely pass on the event, sharing the list of COVID-19 related requirements that applied to all attendees and referring to it as “theatre.”
“Below is the #CovidTheatre rituals required to attend the State of the Union,” he tweeted. “No thank you, maybe next time.”
Below is the #CovidTheatre rituals required to attend the State of the Union
No thank you, maybe next time pic.twitter.com/Fe0BSthVjk
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 18, 2022
Rubio confirmed that decision on Monday, saying that he did not have the time to submit to a COVID-19 test unless he was sick.
HuffPost reporter Igor Bobic tweeted, “Rubio says he won’t attend Biden’s State of the Union address tomorrow because of the COVID testing requirement. ‘I don’t have time to go take a COVID test today. I only take a test if I’m sick,’ he says.”
“For the first time in American history you now have people having to produce paper to go in somewhere, to sit somewhere, to go to the State of the Union,” Rubio said at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). “You’ve got to show them I’m vaccinated, I took a test yesterday, they took my temperature, you know, all this stuff,” he added. “This is, what’s happening now in America, is what happens after 20 years of infusing this Marxist thought process into every aspect of our lives and now we’ve come face-to-face with it.”
Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX):
Roy also confirmed on Monday that he would not be attending the State of the Union, saying that despite the repeal of the mask mandate on Capitol Hill, he did not feel that he should have to submit to a COVID-19 test to be allowed in.
“We’re still being forced to test, a fence is up, & Americans can’t visit the Capitol. While I have an obligation to be present to vote for my constituents (vs. ‘proxy’ voting), I don’t have an obligation to be there for political theater,” Roy tweeted.
We’re still being forced to test, a fence is up, & Americans can’t visit the Capitol. While I have an obligation to be present to vote for my constituents (vs. “proxy” voting), I don’t have an obligation to be there for political theater. https://t.co/voDUXXrZf2
— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) February 28, 2022
Congresswoman Mary Miller (R-IL):
Miller criticized the last-minute decision to lift the mask mandate just ahead of the event, arguing that the move had more to do with polling than science. “Biden’s poll numbers plummeted to historic lows, so the Democrats are once again changing ‘THE SCIENCE’ on masks to try and use the State of the Union as a reset. The only science the Left cares about is political science!” she tweeted on Sunday.
Miller told The Daily Caller that she was skipping the president’s speech in solidarity with the Americans who lost their jobs because of his overreaching vaccine mandates. “I am boycotting the State of the Union on behalf of the American people who were fired because Joe Biden’s White House strong-armed private employers to institute illegal vaccine mandates,” she added in a tweet.
I am boycotting the State of the Union on behalf of the American people who were fired because Joe Biden's White House strong-armed private employers to institute illegal vaccine mandates.https://t.co/mUp3iqqoDF
— Rep. Mary Miller (@RepMaryMiller) March 1, 2022
Congressman Matt Rosendale (R-MT):
Rosendale also cited COVID-19 restrictions as the reason he chose not to attend the State of the Union on Tuesday. “Once again, Speaker Pelosi is politicizing the State of the Union to further the Radical Left’s COVID-19 agenda. Members of Congress should not be subject to COVID-19 tests and social distance when it is not necessary, and the entire nation has ended most, if not all, coronavirus restrictions,” Rosendale told The Daily Caller, adding, “The Hollywood elite attended the Super Bowl free of COVID-19 restrictions, so why must we, sitting Members of Congress, adhere to the demands of Nancy Pelosi? Montanans knew well over a year ago that these restrictions are pointless, and it is far past time to return to normal. Hate to break it to you, Nancy, but no one is listening to you or Dr. Fauci anymore.”
Speaker Pelosi is politicizing the SOTU to further the Radical Left’s COVID-19 agenda.
Members of Congress should not be subject to COVID-19 restrictions when the rest of the country has ended most mandates.
No one is listening to you anymore, Nancy. https://t.co/3HI6yIkM9B
— Matt Rosendale (@RepRosendale) March 1, 2022
Congressman Andrew Clyde (R-GA):
Clyde commented on the “convenient” timing of the mask mandate repeal and said that continued testing requirements had inspired his choice to skip the president’s remarks as well. “I refuse to participate in Democrats’ political pandemic theater, which is why I will not attend Biden’s State of the Union address tonight,” he tweeted.
Congressman Bob Good (R-VA):
Good told The Daily Caller that he would not take a COVID-19 test just to listen to a speech, confirming that he would not attend.
In addition, Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) said he was still on the fence about attending on Tuesday.
“Nothing good is going to happen,” Scott told Panama City’s News Talk 101, adding, “I don’t want to feel so obligated to stand up and say, ‘That’s a lie.’ Because that’s what you feel like — what you feel like when you’re listening — is like ‘that’s not true’ and ‘that’s not true’ and ‘that’s not true.’ And so, why do it?”
Scott offered his own assessment of the current “state of the union” via Twitter, saying that the United States under President Biden was “in disrepair.”
The state of our union is in disrepair. Tonight, @POTUS must say how he will reverse the consequences of his failed policies on Florida families.
❌Inflation at a 40-year high
❌Millions illegally crossing the border
❌Empty shelves across America
❌War rages in Europe
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) March 1, 2022