WEB EXTRA: Kern Congressmembers weigh in ahead of Pres. Biden’s speech before Congress

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Kern Congressmembers weighed in ahead of President Joe Biden’s first speech before a joint session of Congress Wednesday.

House Minority Kevin McCarthy told 17 News Wednesday that he hopes President Biden will deliver a bipartisan message during the address. Biden, per McCarthy, has yet to reach out to him since he took office in January.

“I’ve known Pres. Bident for quite some time,” McCarthy said. “I knew him as vice president and he’s a different man today. As the Republican leader, I haven’t spoken to him one time since he’s been president. I would have expected that would have been different.”

McCarthy said border security should be at the top of Biden’s list.

“I’ll pay attention during the speech. [I hope he] finds ways we can secure the border. I want him to acknowledge it’s a crisis … I want to hear we can turn the corner on COVID. People have been vaccinated. Let’s get back to work, back to school, back to health, and back to normal.”

In a statement, Hanford Congressman David Valadao said he is “hopeful President Biden will discuss the dire drought situation in California and what can be done to address it. Central Valley communities are suffering and farmers are struggling to grow our food.”

Due to continuing COVID safety protocols, only a limited number of members of Congress received an invitation. Because Valadao did not receive an invitation, he will watch Biden’s address remotely, while McCarthy plans to be there in person.

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