Deirdre Shesgreen reports:
Among House Speaker John Boehner’s guests for Tuesday’s State of the Union address are two Hamilton County business executives who say their companies have been hurt by the president’s health care reform law.
The West Chester Republican’s home-town invitees will serve as a counterweight to congressional Democrats’ guest lists, which include low-wage workers and the long-term unemployed.
Boehner’s guests include Doerger-Roberts, president of Vinylmax Windows in Hamilton and David Lippert, president of Hamilton Caster & Manufacturing Company. They and other Ohioans will watch President Barack Obama’s speech from special seats in the House gallery.
According to Boehner’s office, Lippert says his company’s growth has been stymied by the Affordable Care Act and Doerger-Roberts says her company’s health care premiums will increase by more than 30 percent this year.
The president will almost certainly include a strong defense of the health law in his remarks. Obama’s guests will include survivors of the Boston marathon bombings and an NBA star who recently disclosed that he is gay.
Lawmakers often invite guests who will bolster their political message of the moment. Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, for example, has invited a Cincinnati-area Head Start worker who he says will benefit from an increase in the minimum wage—a top Democratic priority for 2014.
Boehner’s guests follow a GOP script for this State of the Union, with many other Republicans planning to showcase constituents who say they’ve been hurt by the health care law. Similarly, House Democrats have invited a bevy of people who are out of work, to highlight what they say is an urgent need to reinstate lapsed benefits for the long-term unemployed.