Covid protocols will prevent Sen. Cornyn from attending Biden’s speech, but not Cruz

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Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says he plans to attend President Joe Biden’s speech on Wednesday.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn “will have a great seat — right in front of my TV set.”

Due to restrictions because of COVID-19 protocol, Senate Republicans were given 30 seats for the joint session of Congress, to be distributed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, to their 50 members.

McConnell determined whether or Cornyn was invited, a Capitol official involved in planning said.

During the joint session Biden will address Congress for the first time as president, and he is expected to reflect on his first 100 days in office and outline his future plans.

It isn’t a State of the Union address, but aside from the State of the Union not occurring until a president’s second year in office the two speeches serve essentially the same function.

“I’ve attended every State of the Union address since I’ve been in the Senate,” Cruz said when asked why he is attending the joint session. “I think it is an important privilege and responsibility, representing Texas in the Senate.”

About 200 people will be allowed in the House Chamber, down from the usual 1,600. Lawmakers will not be allowed to bring guests.

“I just think this has gotten to be a little arbitrary,” Cornyn said about some COVID protocols, like Biden wearing a mask during the Virtual Climate Summit last week. “A little bit silly.”

Senate Democrats were also given 30 seats to be distributed by Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-New York, to their 50 caucus members.

House rules require lawmakers to wear a mask, and Cruz said he will be wearing one at the joint session, even though he stopped wearing a mask in the Senate earlier this month.

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