New legislation, guests – and no designated survivor: What we know about Biden’s address to Congress

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 (EPA)
(EPA)

Joe Biden will deliver a primetime address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, approaching his 100th day in office, highlighting an ambitious domestic agenda in the wake of the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The high-security event at the Capitol – not technically a State of the Union address – will have Covid-19 restrictions in place, including an invite-only list of guests, with roughly 200 people in attendance.

Mr Biden worked on his remarks with adviser Mike Donilon, speechwriter Vinay Reddy and White House aides, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken will attend the event, but the rest of the cabinet will be watching remotely – so there won’t be a “designated survivor” in the presidential line of succession in the event of a mass disaster.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will be the only member of the nation’s high court in attendance.

The president will walk down the centre aisle of the House chamber, wearing a mask, which he will remove when he delivers his speech.

The bulk of his remarks will cover the American Families Plan, but he will also discuss police reform, immigration, gun safety, Covid-19 and “getting Americans back to work”, Ms Psaki said.

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