Members of Congress started unveiling their guests this week to President Biden’s Thursday State of the Union address, with many of their invitees relating to abortion and in vitro fertilization (IVF), border security and foreign policy in Israel.  

As Congress grapples with critical issues, such as the southern border and illegal immigration, differing state laws regarding abortion and IVF, and the amount of additional aid to Israel and Ukraine as they face wars at home, prominent lawmakers have chosen to bring guests highlighting each point of disagreement. 

Fox News Digital took a look at some of the guests expected for Biden’s big speech.


Joe Biden

President Biden is delivering his State of the Union address on Thursday night. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Ex-Hamas hostages and families of those still held in Gaza

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., announced he would be hosting a former Israeli hostage held by Hamas, Mia Schem, as one of his guests. “Mia spent more than 50 days in captivity after being kidnapped on October 7th. I’m proud to stand with Mia and join her in demanding the release [of] all the hostages still held captive by Hamas. We must continue to fight to get them home,” he said in a statement.

Relatives of those still in captivity are also slated to attend – Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., told Fox News Digital that he is bringing the fathers of two Americans being held in Gaza. His guests are Adi Alexander, father of Edan Alexander, and Jonathan Dekel-Chen, whose son is Sagui Dekel-Chen.

Schem Mia, hamas hostage

Mia Schem, a former hostage held by Hamas, will be a guest of Speaker Mike Johnson at the State of the Union. (Courtesy: Bring Them Home Now)

Republican Sens. Ted Budd and Thom Tillis of North Carolina are additionally bringing the family of current hostage Keith Siegel to the address. His sister Lucy and niece Hanna will be in attendance for Biden’s remarks. Siegel, who is one of six American citizens being held by Hamas, is a native of North Carolina, the senators noted. 

Tillis expressed “great relief” that Keith’s wife Aviva Siegel was released after also being kidnapped by Hamas following the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, but stressed, “We are still working to secure Keith’s freedom from Hamas captivity.”

Gold Star families of Kabul blast victims

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, invited Christy Shamblin, the mother-in-law of Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee, one of the 13 American service members killed in an ISIS-K terrorist attack at Abbey Gate during the Biden administration’s chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan in August 2021.


McCaul, whose committee is actively investigating the withdrawal, said, “I hope Christy’s attendance sends a clear signal to President Biden and the American people that I will not rest until a complete and thorough investigation has occurred – and that people are held accountable for what happened.”

IVF and pro-choice activists

Both Sens. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Tim Kaine, D-Va., are bringing guests who support IVF, as the former’s request for unanimous consent to vote on her IVF protection bill was objected to by a Republican senator last week. 

Elizabeth Carr, the first baby conceived with the assistance of IVF in the U.S. in 1981, will accompany Kaine. Carr was born in Norfolk, Virginia, which Kaine represents. “In the wake of the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling, it’s more important than ever that we commit to protecting access to IVF services nationwide. We must work to safeguard IVF so the Elizabeth Carrs of the world can continue to be born,” he said in a statement. 

Sen. Tammy Duckworth

Sen. Tammy Duckworth invited a fertility doctor to the speech. (Getty Images)

Duckworth will bring Illinois reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist Dr. Amanda Adeleye to the address, remarking in a statement, “It’s thanks to doctors and health professionals like Dr. Amanda Adeleye that millions of Americans – myself included – have been able to have kids and grow our families, but Republicans intent on exerting even more control over women’s bodies are putting access to these treatments at risk across the country.”

Remaining on message with his colleagues, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., revealed his guest to be infertility activist Roshni Kamta. He noted that after being diagnosed with breast cancer, Kamta was advised to freeze her eggs if she wanted to have children in the future. “As we witness alarming attacks on IVF and other assisted reproductive technology, particularly in the aftermath of the recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling and the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, it’s crucial that we listen to people like Roshni,” he said in a statement. 


Pro-Life activists

Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana chose to bring attention to the other side of the abortion and reproduction issue. Benjamin Clapper, the executive director of Louisiana Right to Life, an anti-abortion organization, will attend the State of the Union as Cassidy’s guest. 

“Ben has committed his life to speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves,” Cassidy remarked in a statement. “Protecting an unborn child’s right to life is one of our most sacred obligations. I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Ben at the State of the Union steadfast in our commitment to the sanctity of life.”

Parents of American journalist detained in Russia

Speaker Mike Johnson is also bringing as his guests the parents of Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal reporter who has been wrongfully detained in Russia for nearly a year.

By hosting Evan’s parents, Congress will shine a spotlight on the unjust detention of their son,” Johnson said.

Evan Gershkovich

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich is shown in this undated photo. His parents were invited to the State of the Union. (The Wall Street Journal via AP)

Alexei Navalny’s widow

Yulia Navalnaya was invited as a guest of President Biden but will not be attending the speech. She was invited to sit in the first lady’s viewing box to watch the primetime address.

“I can confirm that she was indeed invited to the State of the Union. She is no longer able to attend,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters this week.

It comes less than a month after her husband died while in a Russian penal colony near the Arctic Circle.


NYPD officers attacked by migrants in Times Square

Two Republican members of New York’s congressional delegation, Reps. Nicole Malliotakis and Anthony D’Esposito, are bringing a pair of NYPD officers – Lt. Ben Kurian and Officer Zunxu Tian – who were caught in a now-viral video being attacked by migrants in Times Square, the heart of New York City’s tourism industry.

“The horrifying video of Lt. Kurian and his fellow officer being attacked by a mob in Times Square was hard to watch, but it shed a light on just how difficult our officers’ jobs have become. I’m honored to have Lt. Kurian accompany me to the State of the Union to not only show support for New York City’s finest, but to also bring attention to the need for the Biden Administration to end its dangerous border policies that have allowed millions of unvetted individuals to enter our country illegally,” Malliotakis told Fox News Digital last week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *