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Rep. Perry says House GOP should cancel Biden's SOTU address

Former House Freedom Caucus Chair Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) is calling on Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to stop President Biden from giving his annual State of the Union address next month.

Perry said during an appearance Monday on Fox Business that Republicans should use the opportunity to ramp up pressure on Biden over the southern border amid an influx of migrants.

“We need to use every single point of leverage,” Perry said. “[The president] comes at the invitation of Congress, and Republicans are in control of the House. There’s no reason that we need to invite him to get more propaganda and actually blame the American people for the crisis he’s caused.”

House Republicans have rejected bipartisan legislation that Biden’s backed aimed at providing additional border security, after former President Trump, the clear front-runner for the party’s presidential nomination, spoke out against the bill. Critics say Republicans would rather use the issue to help Trump in 2024 than solve the problem.

Perry, a retired National Guard general, previously has said he doesn’t think Biden is mentally “competent” to continue leading the country.

“It’s abusive … what’s being done, using him to be the president,” he told Fox News on Feb. 11. “And I don’t know that he’s making many decisions. There’s a lot of people around him that I fear are making the decisions.”

The White House didn’t immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment but has frequently dismissed concerns about the president’s mental capacity. Johnson’s office also didn’t respond to a request for comment on Perry’s suggestion.

Johnson won the gavel in October after a tumultuous turn of GOP infighting over former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and who would replace him.

Perry’s suggestion would be a break from precedent, but it is not the first time the annual address has been caught up in political fights.

Then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) delayed then-President Trump from delivering his 2019 State of the Union speech because of a partial government shutdown that January — an unprecedented move.

Trump eventually delivered his speech weeks later, but Pelosi didn’t introduce him — again breaking from tradition.

In past addresses since he took office in January 2021, Republicans in the chamber have jeered Biden openly.

Perry isn’t the first to call for Biden’s address to be canceled this year. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) has also called for the event to be called off if Biden doesn’t present a full spending plan to Congress.

“If the president is going to be allowed the opportunity to address Congress and the entire nation, he should actually have a plan in place,” she said in a statement.

“At a time when Americans are facing skyrocketing inflation and the world is on fire, we deserve more than just empty rhetoric. That’s why, before he delivers his State of the Union, I’m calling on President Biden to put in the work and submit his budget and National Security Strategy.”

Source: The Hill

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