Four to Miss [State of the Union] Due to Security
Four top lawmakers were missing President Bush's State of the Union address Tuesday night, asked by congressional leaders to instead go to undisclosed locations in case the Capitol was hit by a catastrophic attack.
The senators were Harry Reid of Nevada, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, and Trent Lott, R-Miss., chairman of the Rules and Administration Committee and former GOP leader.
House members were George Miller, D-Calif., chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee, and Christopher Cox, R-Calif., chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee. Those panels research issues for each party's lawmakers.
The moves came amid the usual tight security for the speech, which has intensified since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. For the last two State of the Union speeches, some congressional leaders - but not all - have asked one of their members to stay away.
By tradition, a member of the president's Cabinet also misses the speech as a precaution against the entire administration being wiped out.