As is traditional, Florida’s congressional delegation is using its invite tickets to President Donald Trump‘s first address to a joint session of Congress mostly to make points, although U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is maybe making his points with his wife.
Each member of Congress gets one SOTU invitation to pass out. Democrat Nelson’s goes to his wife of 44 years, Grace Nelson.
Republican U.S. Sen Marco Rubio‘s bringing Florida Sen. President Joe Negron, who is in Washington this week for meetings with Rubio and other state legislators regarding federal-state issues.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Val Demings of Orlando is bringing Christine Leinonen, mother of Christopher Leinonen, who was one of the 49 victims killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. Leinonen has been sharply critical of Trump for using the June 12, 2016, Pulse shooting to justify an immigration crackdown, particularly on Muslims.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park is bringing Dr. Marc Levy, Orlando Regional Medical Center surgeon who saved the lives of victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting last summer. Levy has called for more scientific and medical research on gun violence – from root causes to improved medical treatment.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Darren Soto of Orlando is bringing a potential DREAMer, a recent graduate of the University of Florida named Jose who migrated from Honduras to the United States at the age of 11 with his parents. Jose is seeking to avoid deportation through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policies of former President Barack Obama, which Trump stated he intends to rescind.
No word yet on what Republican U.S. Reps. Ron DeSantis, Bill Posey and Daniel Webster intend to do with their tickets.