It's time to break the news.The Messenger's slogan

2023 State of the Union guestlist: What Biden’s guests reveal about his priorities

Expect Biden to talk about abortion, gun violence and Ukraine.

Individuals invited by the White House and members of Congress are often representative of specific issues championed by the elected official who accompanies them.

As for this year’s address, the White House on Tuesday released a list of individuals who will be attending alongside first lady Jill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff. The guestlist also indicates what issues and policies President Joe Biden wants to focus on in tonight’s address. Here’s a quick who’s who of some of the guests planning to attend and why:

Ambassador of Ukraine, Oksana Markarova

The White House announced the first lady will bring Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, as her guest again this year as Ukraine continues to defend itself against an onslaught of Russian offensives nearly a year after the war first began.

Inviting Markarova is “in recognition of sustained U.S. support for Ukraine nearly a year after Russia launched its unprovoked attack,” according to the White House.

Brandon Tsay

RowVaughn and Rodney Wells

“President Biden has made clear that we must take action to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again. In addition to signing an executive order last year, the President continues to call on Congress to send the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to his desk,” the White House statement said.

“Hopefully, by me attending the State of the Union, Congress will recognize that (the police) need to stop beating up and killing Black and brown young men as if they don’t mean anything. Maybe that’ll help them recognize, because this should never have happened to my son. Never,” she continued, according to The 19th.

Amanda and Josh Zurawski

According to The White House, Amanda and Josh Zurawski of Austin, Texas, were expecting a baby when complications arose. At 18 weeks, her water broke and eventually Amanda developed a life-threatening condition because doctors in Texas were unsure how to intervene with uncertainty around the state’s abortion law.

Paul Pelosi

“But that trauma is intensified by the ridiculous disrespectful attitude that the Republicans — and there’s nobody dissociating themselves from the horrible response that they gave to it,” she continued, according to CNN.


Although primarily known for his role as the lead singer of U2, Bono is also “a groundbreaking activist in the fight against HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty,” according to the White House.

“Bono is the co-founder of the nonpartisan ONE Campaign, which works with governments to fight poverty and preventable disease, and (RED), which has raised more than $700 million from businesses to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa,” the statement continued.

Start your day with the biggest stories and exclusive reporting from The Messenger Morning, our weekday newsletter.
By signing up, you agree to our privacy policy and terms of use.
Sign Up.