On the flip side are the Members who have reworked their schedules to fit in the joint session. Reps. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) and Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.) had been planning to play in a 7 p.m. charity hockey game against the Wounded Warriors, a group of veterans who were injured while on active duty. The game will go on, and Meehan, a former NHL referee, intends to show up after the president’s address.
Fundraisers will go on, too. Three were scheduled for that evening, according to the Sunlight Foundation’s Party Time project: a barbecue for Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), a cookout for Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.) and a birthday reception for Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.). Spokesmen from McCaul's and Hastings' offices confirmed that their events would go on as planned and that the lawmakers might appear at their own events, but only if there's enough time. Richardson's cookout had been rescheduled for Sept. 14 before Obama's speech was announced.
“The job comes first,” McCaul spokesman Mike Rosen said.
Although Hastings’ reception will celebrate his 75th year, the speech won’t overlap with his actual birthday. But it will for two others: Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) will turn 61 and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will turn 70, and both will be present for Obama’s speech.
Correction: Sept. 7, 2011
A spokesman from the office of Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.) provided incorrect information about the date of a fundraiser for the Congresswoman. The event was originally scheduled for Sept. 8, but it has been moved to Sept. 14.