Biden’s first address to Congress is invite-only

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Only invited members of Congress will be allowed to attend President Biden’s address to a Joint Session of Congress on Wednesday, and the event “will be invitation-only for a limited number of members of Congress,” according to a memo from acting House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett.

Any members who have not received an invite from their congressional leadership “will not be permitted in the Capitol after 5 p.m.,” according to the memo obtained by CBS News.

The sergeant at arms noted the event is restricted due to COVID-19, although it’s unclear exactly how many members, and which ones, will be allowed in the Capitol. Unlike a typical address before a joint session, invited members will not be permitted to bring a guest. First lady Jill Biden will also attend, but will not bring any guests. Mr. Biden is set to deliver his first address to Congress on Wednesday at 9 p.m.

Combined, the House and Senate have more than 500 members.

The president’s first address to Congress comes as he completes his first 100 days in office. He did not give a traditional address to Congress earlier in the year because the White House said he was focusing on the American Rescue Plan and other COVID-19-related measures.

GOP Senator Tim Scott will give the Republican response to Mr. Biden’s address. Scott, a conservative Republican who has tried to work with Democrats on issues like police reform, has served in the Senate since 2013.

“We face serious challenges on multiple fronts, but I am as confident as I have ever been in the promise and potential of America,” Scott said in a statement.

CBSN and will cover Mr. Biden’s joint address

— CBS News’ Rebecca Kaplan contributed to this report. 

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