Kamala Harris Requiring: When the 118th Congress convenes on Tuesday, Vice President Kamala Harris will require senators, their wives, and guests older than 2 to submit a negative COVID-19 test before participating in the customary swearing-in photo op, Capitol Hill sources confirmed to the Post.
An email from the veep’s office to the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, who then forwarded it to each Senate office, laid out the requirements straight out of 2021.
Harris’ director of legislative affairs, Grisella Martinez, wrote: “We look forward to greeting your Senator on January 3, 2023, to the ceremonial reenactment for incoming and freshly re-elected Senators in the Old Senate Chamber.”
As you are aware, according to White House COVID-19 guidelines, everyone older than two who will interact with the Vice President must undergo a medically performed antigen test within 24 hours of the interaction and have a negative result. Regardless of immunization history, this policy is in effect.
Martinez continued by advising potential attendees to take a test on Tuesday in a Senate office building or to email the findings of a test that was “medically conducted” to a White House email address before 9 a.m. The exams must be completed within the 24-hour window, starting at 1 p.m. on Tuesday and ending at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.
According to Harris, also the Senate’s president, all 35 senators who were re-elected to office in the most recent election will take the oath of office on the Senate floor at noon on Tuesday.
Senators get the chance to repeat the ritual one-on-one and have their picture taken with the vice president after taking the formal oath from Harris in small groups of new and returning senators.
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The spouses, kids, and grandkids of senators frequently attend the reenactment; most of them wind up in the photo with the vice president.
Last week, according to reports from Harris’ office, lawmakers were informed of the need. However, a Senate Republican source told The Post that their office never received the information, presumably because they didn’t ask Harris for a picture. It wasn’t immediately clear if the demand would lead some MPs to decline participating in the fictitious swearing-in.
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