- President Joe Biden will give his State of the Union Address on February 7.
- The President and First Lady have not announced their guests for the State of the Union yet.
- Members of Congress have invited various people, including Tyre Nichols’ parents, Michael Brown Sr., Brandon Tsay, and more.
Ahead of the 2023 State of the Union address, some politicians have guests that they have invited to see President Joe Biden’s speech on Tuesday, February 7. Traditionally, the guests that the president and First Lady Jill Biden invite reflect policies that are spoken about in the address. Some members of Congress also invite guests for similar reasons. While more guests are expected to be announced before the speech, find out more about who has been invited so far.
RowVaughn & Rodney Wells
Tyre Nichols’ parents RowVaughn and Rodney Wells received an invitation to the State of the Union from Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev) after footage of five former Memphis police officers beating their son was released at the end of January. Horsford is also the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. Their invitation was later confirmed by Black Caucus executive director Vincent Evans, who also tweeted that they accepted the invitation.
Vice President Kamala Harris also spoke at Nichols’ funeral on February 1, calling for police reform. “This is a family that lost their son and their brother through an act of violence at the hands and the feet of people who had been charged with keeping them safe,” she said in part. “When we talk about public safety, let us understand what it means in its truest form. Tyre Nichols should’ve been safe.”
Brandon Tsay disarmed the shooter during the Monterey Park shooting at a Dance Studio during a Lunar New Year celebration in January. The 26-year-old was invited by California Democratic Congresswoman Judy Chu, who also awarded him the medal of courage, per KCRA. Biden had also spoken to Tsay and praised his bravery. “I wanted to call to see how you’re doing and thank you for taking such incredible action in the face of danger,” the president told him.
While I will still be in Sarasota recovering from my injuries, it is my privilege to share that Mr. Darrell Woodie will be attending next week’s State of the Union as my official guest!
Mr. Woodie called 911 after witnessing my accident and is the epitome of a Good Samaritan! pic.twitter.com/497EHapKlO
— Congressman Greg Steube (@RepGregSteube) January 30, 2023
Florida Republican Rep. Greg Steube announced that he wouldn’t be able to attend the State of the Union as he recovers from injuries after suffering a fall from a ladder on his property, but he did share that the person who got him help would attend as his guest. Steube’s official Twitter account tweeted that he had taken a fall from a 25-foot ladder while cutting tree limbs and shared that he was rushed to the ICU. Darrell Woodie saw the congressman’s fall and called for help.
Steube announced that Woodie would attend in a tweet. “While I will still be in Sarasota recovering from my injuries, it is my privilege to share that Mr. Darrell Woodie will be attending next week’s State of the Union as my official guest,” he wrote. “Mr. Woodie called 911 after witnessing my accident and is the epitome of a Good Samaritan!”
Montgomery County Sheriff Jeffrey T. Smith
New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik announced that she’d be inviting Montgomery County Sheriff Jeffrey T. Smith as her guest in a statement, criticizing Biden’s policies regarding law enforcement. “Sheriff Smith and countless other members of law enforcement are on the frontlines every day protecting our communities and fighting against the crises caused by Joe Biden’s failed policies,” she said in a statement. “The American people deserve a government with the same dedication to public safety, and House Republicans are leading the charge to hold the Biden Administration accountable for its crises and deliver on our commitment to create a nation that is safe.”
Michael Brown Sr.
Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) shared that she had invited Michael Brown Sr. to the State of the Union in a statement to Politico’s Playbook on Monday, February 6. Michael Brown was an 18-year-old Black man who was shot and killed by a police officer in Missouri in 2014. His death sparked the Black Lives Matter movement. Bush spoke about how she felt that Brown’s father’s presence was poignant following the death of Tyre Nichols. “The police killing of Michael Brown in 2014 is what propelled me and many others into lives dedicated to building a world where Mike would still be here with us — a world where his life could not be taken from him. A world where Tyre Nichols and the thousands of other Black people killed by police could live long, healthy lives full of joy,” she told Politico.