California Sens. Padilla and Feinstein to miss Biden’s State of the Union address

Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) talks to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Capitol Hill.
Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) talks to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Capitol Hill. Both senators will miss President Biden’s State of the Union speech as Padilla isolates after testing positive for COVID-19 and Feinstein grieves the death of her husband.
(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

Neither of California’s two senators will be able to attend President Biden’s first State of the Union address Tuesday.

Sen. Alex Padilla tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein is at home in California following her husband’s death.

Padilla, who is fully vaccinated and boosted, said he’s asymptomatic but will isolate and work remotely.


Feinstein’s office confirmed that she was not in Washington. She announced Monday that her husband, Richard Blum, died Sunday at the family home after a long battle with cancer.

Other members of Congress will be absent from Biden’s speech after testing positive for COVID this week, including Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Redlands), vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus.

“While I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to attend in person, I’m looking forward to hearing from POTUS tonight about his vision to build a better America,” Aguilar said in a statement.

Lawmakers had to be tested to attend the State of the Union, though the Office of the Attending Physician lifted the Capitol’s requirement to wear masks throughout the complex Sunday.