June 13, 2021

No designated survivor for Biden’s first joint address to Congress

With Vice President Kamala Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Secretary of State Antony Blinken all expected to attend the speech, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen would be the de facto designated survivor as the next in line of succession, assuming Yellen does not attend.

A spokesperson for Leahy told POLITICO that Leahy “will be attending” and is on the escort committee from the Senate. But Leahy told reporters Tuesday he has “got to think about” whether he’s attending, saying that if he didn’t attend, he’d be the designated survivor.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, first lady Jill Biden and second gentleman Douglas Emhoff will also be in attendance, Psaki said Tuesday.

Under normal circumstances, the entire Supreme Court and all members of Congress would be invited. This year, lawmakers aren’t allowed to bring guests.

During the speech, Biden will unveil his sweeping, trillion dollar-plus “American Families Plan.”

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