Government

Iowa congressional delegation announces State of the Union guests

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has invited President Donald Trump to deliver his State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Al Drago.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has invited President Donald Trump to deliver his State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Al Drago.

DES MOINES — A firefighter, a furloughed federal employee, a mental health advocate and a spouse will be guests of members of Iowa’s congressional delegation at President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night.

Each member of Congress is allotted one ticket to invite a guest to the State of the Union speech.

Second District Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack of Iowa City has invited Clinton Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeff Chapman to be his guest at the speech at 8 p.m.

Chapman will represent the Clinton Fire Department, which recently faced the death of Lt. Eric Hosette in the line of duty battling a grain bin fire. Another firefighter, Adam Cain, is recovering at home from life-threatening injuries suffered in that fire.

First District Democratic Rep. Abby Finkenauer of Dubuque invited Jesse Wegner of West Union, president of the Iowa Association of Farm Service Agency County Office Employees, to be her guest. Wegner shared with Finkenauer the stories of local FSA employees struggling after being furloughed and then called into work without pay during the recent federal government shutdown.

Democratic 3rd District Rep. Cindy Axne of West Des Moines gave her guest pass to Peggy Huppert, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Iowa. Axne said one of her top priorities is improving access to health care, including mental health services.

As is his custom. Sen. Chuck Grassley, invited his wife, Barbara, to be his guest.

Neither Sen. Joni Ernst nor 4th District Rep. Steve King responded to questions about their guests.

l Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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