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Senate Democrats Name “Virtual Guests” For Presidential Address, Uplift Americans Whose Lives Have Improved During First 100 Days

House and Senate DPCC – Chaired By Stabenow, Booker, Dingell, Cartwright, Lieu, Neguse– Lead Effort to Honor Hardworking Americans as Virtual Guests 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate and House Democratic Policy & Communications Committees (DPCC) – led by Chair Debbie Stabenow (MI) and Vice-Chair Cory Booker (NJ) in the Senate and Cochairs Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), Ted Lieu (CA-33) and Joe Neguse (CO-02) in the House– are leading an effort by dozens of House and Senate Democrats to name “virtual guests” for President Biden’s first Address to a Joint Session of Congress on Wednesday.

Members of Congress often invite constituents to join them as guests to such speeches. While COVID-19 safety protocols mean this year’s in-person attendance will be limited, the DPCC leaders say naming virtual guests is an important way for Democrats to honor hardworking men and women across the country who are fueling America’s recovery.

Members will uplift their virtual guests’ stories in local media, share them online using the hashtag #HelpIsHere, and honor their virtual guests in the Congressional Record.

“Help is here. The American Rescue Plan is delivering shots in arms, money in pockets and food on families’ tables,” said Senate DPCC Chair Stabenow who is honoring a veteran and single father from Michigan as her virtual guest. “My virtual guest for the Joint Session is a veteran and single dad from Grant, Michigan who knows what so many Americans are going through right now. Democrats have been working hard the past 100 days to help families like Eric’s get back on their feet.”

“It’s an honor to be joined virtually at this year’s joint address by Destiny C. Wood, who has truly been a light through the darkness of the pandemic,” said Senate DPCC Vice-chair Cory Booker, who is honoring Destiny Wood, a health care leader in her community. “As New Jersey communities, and particularly communities of color, faced unimaginable challenges this last year, Destiny was on the front lines administering the care South Jersey families so desperately needed. We all owe a deep debt of gratitude for Destiny’s selflessness, courage, and leadership through these difficult times and for stepping up when her community needed her most.”

“There are about 22,500 workers and retirees in Wisconsin who were facing massive cuts to their pensions, through no fault of their own. When Ken Stribling in Milwaukee was informed that his pension was getting cut by 55%, he was devasted. I worked for six years with Ken and many other Wisconsin workers and retirees to make sure they would get the pensions that they worked for and earned. Finally, we were able to get this done in the American Rescue Plan,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin (WI), who is honoring Ken Stribling in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as her virtual guest. “Now these workers and retirees have the peace of mind of knowing that the pensions they earned will be there for them and for their families when they need it. A pension is a promise and it should be kept.”

“President Biden can unite the country and earn the confidence of the American people by responding to the needs of moms like Ambrosia and millions of other parents across the country,” said Senator Bennet, who is honoring a Boulder mom who will benefit from Expanded Child Tax Credit. “The president took an important first step in that direction with the American Rescue Plan, but we need to go a step further and make the Child Tax Credit expansion permanent this year.”

 “From 159 million stimulus payments in the hands of Americans, to 230 million vaccine doses administered, to $130 billion invested to help schools reopen safely, and one million jobs creates in March – each one of these numbers represent grandparents hugging their grandchildren for the first time in months, parents going back to work, teachers safely back in the classroom, businesses open, and workers with paychecks in their pockets,” said House DPCC Cochair Dingell who is honoring a Michigan worker as her virtual guest. “The American people are the heroes of this story. And, while safety protocols mean this year’s in-person attendance will be limited, Democrats did not want to miss this important opportunity to honor the hardworking men and women across this country who are fueling our recovery.

“Since we passed the American Rescue Plan, we’ve administered over 200 million shots in arms, schools are receiving the $130 billion they’ll use to safely reopen, and nearly one million people went back to work last month. We still have more work to do, but behind all of these numbers are American comeback stories – stories like John Cardoni’s. He has been persistent in the face of adversity throughout this pandemic, and I’m proud to honor him as my virtual guest for the President’s Address,” said House DPCC Cochair Cartwright who is honoring a Pennsylvania worker who was laid off at the beginning of the pandemic as his virtual guest.  

 “After a very difficult year, I am pleased to say help is here. Within the first 100 days of the new Congress, we enacted the American Rescue Plan into law. It has helped put vaccines into arms, kids into schools and money into the pockets of families. We’re already seeing those benefits with fewer Covid cases in many parts of the country and an economy that is revving up. I am grateful that local leaders like my friend Mayor Sue Himmelrich never stopped fighting for our neighbors and our community, and together we’re going to make it to the other side of this pandemic,” said House DPCC Cochair Lieu, who is honoring Santa Monica Mayor Sue Himmelrich as his virtual guest.

“We know this year has been a tough one for many Americans. Countless Coloradans, countless families across the country dealt with unprecedented economic hardship. When President Biden took the oath of office 100 days ago, he pledged that help was on the way. Now, thanks to our work together to enact the American Rescue Plan, help is here. The American Rescue Plan brought American families urgent support when they needed it most, through expanded nutrition assistance, unemployment benefits and stimulus checks. It put shots in arms and is helping small business owners keep their doors open. And the American Rescue Plan ensured that our local food banks continued to have the resources to meet the needs of our hungry kids and families,” said House DPCC Cochair Neguse, who is honoring the Suzanne Crawford, CEO of Sister Carmen, a Boulder-based community food bank, as his virtual guest.