Dozens of freshman Republican lawmakers declined an invitation to the White House to meet with President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday night.
Only 11 of the 45 new Republicans elected to Congress in November accepted Biden’s invitation to the welcome party. Among the dozens who rejected the invitation were Rep. George Santos, RN.Y., as well as several Republicans who initially sought to block Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s candidacy in early January.
“All those who are part of the new Congress are invited,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday.
Republicans who made an appearance included Senator Katie Britt of Alabama; Rep. John James of Michigan; Rep. Mark Alford of Missouri; Representative John Duarte of California; Rep. Tom Kean of New Jersey; Representative Kevin Kiley of California; Representatives Nick Langworthy and Mike Lawler of New York; Representative Nathaniel Moran of Texas; Rep. Dale Strong of Alabama and Rep. Rudy Yakym of Indiana.
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The low attendance of freshman Republicans at the party does not bode well for Biden’s prospects of getting his priorities passed by the House.
Rep. Josh Brecheen, R-Okla., did not immediately respond to a request for comment on why he decided to skip the party. Santos also did not respond to a request for comment.
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The bipartisan party comes as Biden is expected to soon announce his candidacy for the 2024 presidential race. He is also facing greater scrutiny than ever amid a special counsel investigation into his alleged mismanagement classified documents.
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., is leading the charge of Republicans investigating the case, seeking testimony and documents from the Justice Department and the National Archives.
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There have not yet been any congressional hearings regarding the Biden documents, but the DOJ special counsel’s investigation into the case is just beginning.