Breaking News
More (0) »


Lawmakers & special guests going to State of the Union address, Iowa and Illinois edition

Here’s who they’re bringing and why.

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Several local lawmakers have announced they are attending POTUS Trump's second State of the Union address.

As members of Congress prepare for the rescheduled State of the Union on Tuesday, February 5, several have selected special guests.

Here's who's going from Iowa and Illinois districts, who they're bringing and why.


Rep. Dave Loebsack, 2nd District
Guest: Clinton Battalion Chief Jeff Chapman
Statement From Email:

“I am proud to welcome Battalion Chief Chapman to Washington and have him join me in attending the State of the Union address. Our firefighters stand ready to serve the moment a disaster strikes. They are also cherished members of their communities, as was recently displayed in the aftermath of the grain bin fire that took the life of Lt. Hosette and severely injured his fellow firefighter, Adam Cain. Seeing folks come from around the state to honor Lt. Hosette’s life in the middle of a snow storm gave me so much appreciation for the job our firefighters preform and the sacrifices they are willing to make. I believe we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the men and women who serve, and I feel privileged to bring attention to the Clinton Fire Department for this State of the Union.”

Rep. Anny Finkenauer, 1st District
Guest: Jesse Wegner; President of the Iowa Association of Farm Service Agency County Office Employees
Statement from Congressional Webpage:

"Wegner, from West Union, Iowa, called Representative Finkenauer during the government shutdown to share stories of local FSA employees who were struggling after being furloughed and then called into work without pay. The day the government reopened, Representative Finkenauer called him to tell him and to promise that she would do everything in her power to stop it from happening again. She subsequently co-sponsored the Shutdown to End All Shutdowns Act.

“The dysfunction that we’ve seen in Washington, DC needs to stop. The livelihoods of hard-working Iowans like Jesse should never be used as bargaining chips,” said Representative Finkenauer. “There were single parents struggling to find childcare and a new mom worried about her maternity leave. These government employees all wanted to get back to work because they love their jobs. They love helping farmers and farming communities because these are their communities — our communities. I look forward to highlighting their stories over the coming days so that Congress and the President ensure this never happens again.”

Rep. Cindy Axne, 3rd District
Guest: Peggy Huppert; National Alliance for Mental Illness -Iowa
Statement from Congressional Website:

“Among my top priorities in Congress include improving access to quality, affordable health care. That includes lowering the cost of prescription drugs and ensuring coverage for mental health services,”
“That’s why I’m honored to bring Peggy Huppert, the Executive Director of NAMI IOWA, as my guest to the State of the Union Address. Peggy is dedicated to helping individuals with mental illness receive the care and treatment they need. I hope to hear President Trump discuss the importance of working in a bipartisan manner to improve access to health care for all Iowans.”
"Peggy has lived experience with mental illness over nearly 20 years through several close family members who have experienced addiction, hospitalization and incarceration as a result of their illness. Thankfully they are all currently living in wellness and recovery.

Rep. Steve King, 4th District
Guest: Lynnette Hardaway, known as "Diamond" of the video blog "Diamond & Silk"


Sen. Charles Grassley
Guest: His wife Barbara
According to his Schedule:
On Tuesday, February 5 at 9 p.m. (ET), Sen. Grassley will attend President Donald J. Trump’s State of the Union address with his wife, Mrs. Barbara Grassley, as his guest. As president pro tempore, Grassley is a member of the Escort Committee for the President’s State of the Union address.

Sen. Joni Ernst:
Guest: U.S. Army Lt. Col. Candice Frost


Rep. Cheri Bustos,17th District
Guest: Farmer Tom Mueller
Statement from Email:

"Mueller began farming in 1972 and raises corn, soybeans, hay and beef cattle on 750 acres in southern Rock Island County. Tom has two grown children and he and his wife Debbie live on the same family farm where his father and grandfather farmed."
“Between a struggling farm economy and a reckless trade war, farmers like Tom can’t seem to catch a break despite working harder than ever. I hope the president will understand the economic pain of farmers in the Heartland and work with Congress on sensible trade policies that hold cheaters like China accountable but expand market access around the world for American agricultural products.”

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, 16th District
Guest: Officer Mark Dallas
Statement from Congressional Website:

“Officer Mark Dallas embodies the very best of who we are as a nation. We are a better, safer community for his dedication to serve and protect. His quick, fearless actions saved countless lives, and prevented a real tragedy from occurring. I’m grateful for his service, for the service of all our School Resource Officers, and for all those who wear the badge with honor in IL-16 and across the country.
“It’s an honor to welcome Mark Dallas as my guest for the State of the Union this year, and to serve as his representative in Congress. Officer Dallas is a true hero and a role model to many, and he deserves to be recognized.”

Rep. Darin LaHood, 18th District

Sen. Dick Durbin
Guest: Toby Hauck, Air Traffic Controller from Aurora, Illinois
Statement from Email:

“Air traffic controllers have some of the most important and stressful jobs in America. They have the awesome responsibility to safely direct our nation’s aircraft, and their service is often overlooked or taken for granted,”
“When President Trump made the irrational decision to shut down his own government for an unrealistic campaign promise, one of the many consequences was unnecessary stress and heartache in air traffic control towers across the country. Federal employees – like Toby – never deserved to be punished and forced to work without pay while Washington squabbled over a political disagreement. Simply put, President Trump’s shutdown was a kick in the gut to Toby Hauck and all of his fellow air traffic controllers. Their stories and pleas to reopen the government in the name of public safety stopped this President from inflicting more damage to our country. I’m honored to have him by my side at the State of the Union.”

Sen. Tammy Duckworth
Guest: Lily Wu, First Generation American
Statement from Office of Tammy Duckworth:

“I am proud to bring Lily to the State of the Union tonight to remind my colleagues about the critical need to invest in our communities, rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and support apprenticeship programs that give workers the skills they need to succeed in high-demand industries across our country.  In the face of the President’s attacks on immigrants, I also believe it is important to send a message about the valuable contributions immigrant families make to our country.”

Here's who different members of Congress outside of Illinois and Iowa  will bring as their guests to the State of the Union:

Courtesy of CNN


Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) -- air traffic control specialist Trisha Pesiri-Dybvik, who lost her home in the 2017 Thomas Fire and was furloughed during the government shutdown
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) -- mother and daughter Albertina Contreras Teletor and Yakelin Garcia Contreras, who were separated at the southern border last spring
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) -- Regina Moller, the executive director of Noank Community Support Services, a non-profit affected by the government shutdown that offers shelters to unaccompanied minors separated from their families at the border
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) -- Nicole Smith-Holt, mother of Alec Smith who died from diabetic ketoacidosis because he couldn't afford his insulin prescription
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) -- Border Patrol Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Manny Padilla
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) -- Lt. Cmdr. Blake Dremann, a transgender service member and the president of a transgender military advocacy organization
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) -- A.B. Culvahouse Jr., US Ambassador to Australia
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) -- Varshini Prakash, co-founder of Sunrise, a youth climate change activism organization
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) -- Youngstown Mayor and federal BUILD grant recipient Tito Brown
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland) -- Lila Johnson, a federal contract worker for general cleaning services at the Department of Agriculture
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) -- Massachusetts labor leader Sajid Shahriar, a Department of Housing and Urban Development employee who was furloughed during the shutdown
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Florida) -- Andy Pollack, father of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting victim Meadow Pollack

House of Representatives

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-California) -- Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor and gun reform activist Cameron Kasky
Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kansas) -- health care advocate and mother of a child with pre-existing conditions Laura Robeson
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-New Jersey) -- former Trump National Golf Club employee and undocumented immigrant rights activist Victorina Morales
Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) -- Jennie Taylor, widow of Maj. Brent Taylor of the Utah Army National Guard who was killed in Afghanistan in November
Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-California) -- Sandra Diaz, a former undocumented immigrant who was a housekeeper to President Donald Trump
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Florida) -- women's health advocate Michelle Garcia
Rep. Paul Tonko (D-New York) -- League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Nebraska) -- Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad, a Yazidi human rights activist and survivor of sexual slavery at the hands of ISIS in Iraq
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-California) -- Air Force Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland, who identifies as transgender, and who served in Afghanistan
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) -- Dave Green, the president of UAW Local 1112, which represents GM workers at the Lordstown plant that will close this year
Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) -- East Liverpool K-9 Officer Chris Green who accidentally overdosed on Fentanyl after the powder ended up on his shirt from a drug arrest
Rep. Grace Meng (D-New York) -- 22-year-old Dreamer and Rhodes Scholar Jin Park
Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-Texas) -- Rhonda Hart, the mother of Santa Fe High School shooting victim Kimberly Vaughn
Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) -- National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd
Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-California) -- Erik Talkin, the head of a Santa Barbara County food bank that distributed food to 458 families of furloughed federal workers during the government shutdown
Rep. Katie Porter (D-California) -- Helen Nguyen, wife of Michael Nguyen, a native Californian who has been detained in Vietnam for nearly seven months
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) -- Ana Maria Archila, one of two women who confronted former Sen. Jeff Flake in a Capitol elevator last year over his support for then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Archila is also the co-executive director of an organization that promotes progressive politics.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) -- Linda Clark, a Minnesota resident and Liberian immigrant facing deportation
Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-New York) -- Yeni Gonzalez Garcia, a Guatemalan immigrant who was separated from her three children at the Arizona border last year
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Florida) -- Manny Oliver, father of Joaquin Oliver, a victim of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting
Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Georgia) -- Jeff Binkley, father of Maura Binkley, a victim of the Tallahassee yoga studio shooting last year
Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) -- former Department of Interior official Joel Clement
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Oregon) -- student gun violence prevention advocate Alexandria Goddard