Joe Biden

Which North Texas Lawmakers Are Planning to Attend Inauguration?

President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in on Wednesday

NBC News

President-elect Joe Biden will take the oath of office in front of the United States Capitol Wednesday in an inauguration that looks drastically from ceremonies past.

The event will be socially distanced and masked due to the coronavirus pandemic. And it will feature extra security in response to the deadly riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Texas' two senators, Republicans John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, confirmed Tuesday they will attend the inauguration, as will all three Democratic members of the House from North Texas: Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas), Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Dallas) and Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Fort Worth).

Meanwhile, just two Republican House members from North Texas districts will attend: Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Denton) and Rep. Roger Williams (R-Cleburne)

Rep. Ron Wright (R-Arlington) said he will not attend because he recently came into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

"Last week, not long after returning to Texas following the impeachment vote in the House, I learned that several members of my staff and I had come into contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. I am currently in quarantine, awaiting my COVID-19 test results, and I will continue to follow CDC guidance and the advice of my doctors and medical professionals," Wright said in a statement. "With that being said, I will not attend the inauguration tomorrow but will be watching from my home in Arlington, Texas."

Rep. Van Taylor (R-Plano) and Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-Dallas) said coronavirus testing requirements implemented late last week impacted their abilities to attend.

"Last minute COVID-19 testing requirements require attendees to travel to DC two days earlier than originally required for the inauguration," said Anna McCormack, a spokesperson for Taylor. "While he regrets being unable to attend the inauguration in person because these new protocols conflict with to prior commitments in Collin County, Congressman Taylor sends his prayers and well wishes to the Biden and Harris families and will follow the inauguration remotely."

"Late last week, the Inaugural Committee added new COVID testing requirements that would require the Congresswoman to be in Washington two days earlier than expected for the inauguration," a Van Duyne spokesperson said in a statement. "Because the majority called a last-minute vote on impeachment last week, we were forced to reschedule numerous commitments in the district to this week. Therefore, the Congresswoman regrets being unable to attend the inauguration due to commitments in the district."

Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Rockwall), who is serving his first term in Congress, said he would not attend, citing a "double standard."

"The Biden Administration, the governors of Maryland and Virginia, and the Mayor of D.C. have all asked the public to stay home this week and watch Joe Biden take the oath of office virtually," he said in a statement. "Even still, they invite members of Congress to attend the event in person. It is a classic double standard to pretend that Members of Congress are more important than the citizens we represent. If my constituents can’t attend, I’ll take the same advice they’ve were given and will stay home on Inauguration Day."

Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Terrell) confirmed he would not attend, but did not issue a statement.

NBC 5 had not heard back from Rep. Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth) as of Tuesday night. Granger tested positive for COVID-19 in early January.

Cruz, Burgess, Fallon, Gooden, Van Duyne, Williams and Wright were among the Republicans who objected to the certification of the election results.

Click here to learn how to follow the events Wednesday.

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