When President Joe Biden gives the State of the Union speech next month, he may not be looking out at a sea of faces, according to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
McCarthy told Republican leadership members that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told him that there would be a 25-House member cap for the State of the Union address, Axios is reporting.
The website cited two sources saying COVID-19 concerns may keep the number of people in the Capitol chamber to hear the speech to a minimum.
A spokesperson for Pelosi said that McCarthy’s claim was not correct because no final decisions have been made on the number of people who would attend the speech in person. The spokesperson said Pelosi’s office planned to “will work closely with the Office of the Attending Physician to accommodate as many Member requests as safely as possible.”
For a president to give the State of the Union speech at the U.S. Capitol, he or she must receive an invitation from the speaker of the House.
The speech will come just before the second anniversary of the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, there were 385,425 new cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., and 2,658 deaths.