LOOK: 2014 State of the Union Guest List
According to the White House, the following people will sit with first lady Michelle Obama for President Obama's State of the Union address tonight. Below is a list, including guests of Congress members, compiled by the Fox News Brainroom.
Misty DeMars, Oak Park, Ill. The White House says DeMars lost her job because of budget cuts a week after buying a home with her husband in May 2013. She wrote to Obama after her emergency unemployment benefits expired.
Peter Mouskondis, Salt Lake City. Mouskondis is president and CEO of Nicholas & Company, Inc., a third-generation, family-owned and operated food service distribution company, with roughly 500 employees. The White House says the company's emphasis on work-life balance and benefits, including maternity, paternity and bereavement leave, have contributed to worker productivity and company growth.
Cory Remsburg and Craig Remsburg, Phoenix. Army Ranger Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg has met with Obama three times since a roadside bomb in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on his 10th deployment, left him in a coma for three months, partially paralyzed and brain-damaged. His father, Craig, a retired Air Force Reserve firefighter, and stepmother Annie, are his caretakers.
Estiven Rodriguez, New York City. The son of a Dominican immigrant, Estiven spoke no English when he came to the U.S. at age 9. Now a high school senior, Estiven is one of the top students in his class and will attend Dickinson College in the fall on a scholarship from the Posse Foundation. He recently attended a White House event on expanding college opportunity.
John Soranno, St. Paul, Minn. The CEO of Punch Pizza, which has eight locations in the state, and co-owner, John Puckett, raised the company-wide minimum wage to $10 an hour. A ninth store is set to open this summer.
Nick Chute, Minneapolis. Chute is a Punch Pizza employee who the White House says has benefited from his employer's decision to pay a higher minimum wage.
Cristian Avila, Phoenix. Avila and two younger siblings were brought to the U.S. illegally when Avila was 9 years old. Now 23, Avila is one of the so-called Dreamers who have benefited from an Obama policy allowing young people who immigrated illegally with their parents to avoid deportation. Avila volunteers for a nonprofit civic engagement program for Latinos, and as a teenager fasted for 22 days to call for an immigration overhaul. The White House said Avila wants to be eligible to serve in the Marine Corps.
Mary Barra, Detroit. The CEO of General Motors Co., Barra is the company's first female CEO. She took over the company this month. She joined GM in 1980, and in 2013 Fortune Magazine named her one of the "50 Most Powerful Women in Business." GM is also one of the companies that benefited from a bailout of the auto industry under the Obama administration.
Gov. Steve Beshear, D-Ky. Elected in 2007, Beshear has been a proponent of Obama's health care law. He embraced an expansion of Medicaid enabled by the health care law, and under his watch Kentucky established a state-based insurance marketplace that the Obama administration has frequently touted.
Mayor Ed Lee, San Francisco. The first Asian-American to run San Francisco, Lee is the son of Chinese immigrants and has helped to mobilize support in Silicon Valley for an immigration overhaul. The White House said Lee is also working to raise San Francisco's minimum wage.
Antoinette Tuff, Atlanta. A bookkeeper and mother, Tuff is credited with preventing a shooting at an elementary school in the Atlanta suburbs in August. The White House said Tuff talked the suspect down by sharing personal struggles and connecting with him until he surrendered.
Tyrone Davis, Winston-Salem, N.C. Blind since the age of 9, Davis is in his third year of law school and is a fellow with the Environmental Defense Fund's Climate Corps. The White House said that as a Defense Fund fellow he developed recommendations that showed Elizabeth City State University how it could save $31,000 a year and reduce carbon emissions by nearly 200 million tons per year.
Vice Adm. Michelle Howard, Washington. Howard is set to become the Navy's first female four-star admiral this year. The White House said she will also become the first African-American female to achieve four stars in the military's history. In 1999, she became the first African-American woman to command a Navy ship when she took command of the USS Rushmore.
Sabrina Simone Jenkins, Charleston, S.C. A single mother, Jenkins served in the Air Force and then studied at DeVry University while working full time, caring for ill family members and dealing with her own serious medical issues. The White House said Jenkins graduated at age 42 with a 3.7 GPA and then earned a master's degree, but now has nearly $90,000 in student debt.
Andra Rush, Detroit. A descendant of the Mohawk tribe from the Six-Nation Reservation, Rush is the founder and chair of the Rush Group. The family of companies includes Detroit Manufacturing Systems and is one of the biggest Native American-owned businesses in the U.S., the White House said. Rush's first business was a trucking company she started in 1984.
Amanda Shelley, Gilbert, Ariz. A 37-year-old physician's assistant, Shelley was uninsured and couldn't get coverage because of a pre-existing condition until Obama's health care legislation became law, the White House said. Two days after receiving coverage under the law, she encountered abdominal pain that eventually required emergency surgery.
Aliana Arzola-Pinero, San Juan, Puerto Rico. A fourth-grader, Arzola-Pinero took part in 2012 in the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge that Mrs. Obama sponsored. She didn't win, but she later represented Puerto Rico at a Kid's State Dinner the first lady hosted in 2013. Arzola-Pinero's recipe for "Yummy Eggplant Lasagna Rolls" incorporates the USDA's "My Plate" nutritional guidelines.
Carlos Arredondo and Jeff Bauman, Boston. A photograph of Arredondo, 53, and Bauman, 27, has become one of the iconic images from the April 2013 bombing. The photo captured Arredondo rushing a badly injured Bauman away from the scene of the attack. Bauman, who lost both legs in the attack, played a crucial role in identifying the bombers while he was in the hospital recovering. The two men have become close friends, the White House said.
Gary Bird, Moore, Okla. Bird is the fire chief in Moore, Okla., which was hit by a massive tornado in May 2013. The tornado killed 25 people and destroyed more than 1,000 homes and businesses. The White House said Bird and his team worked through the path of the storm to rescue survivors.
Jason Collins, Los Angeles. In April, 35-year-old Collins became the first active male athlete on a major American sports team to come out as openly gay. Collins played 12 years in the NBA, going to the playoffs nine times and making the league finals twice. The president has said Collins' announcement marked a point of progress for the gay community.
Joey Hudy, Anthem, Ariz. Hudy was a participant in a 2012 science fair at the White House, where he helped the president use his invention, the "extreme marshmallow cannon." Now 16, Hudy is interning at Intel and is a proponent of science, technology, engineering and math education.
Kathy Hollowell-Makle, Washington. Hollowell-Makle was the 2013 teacher of the year in the District of Columbia public school system. A former Teach for America corps member, Hollowell-Makle teaches at Abram Simon Elementary, where 90 percent of her students demonstrated early literacy at proficient or advanced levels.
Notable Invited Guests of Congress Members:
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) has invited Fox News host Sean Hannity.
Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA) is bringing “Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertson.
Charles Woods, father of Navy SEAL Ty Woods, will attend as a guest of Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK).
The family of Kenneth Bae, an American businessman imprisoned in North Korea, will attend as the guests of Reps. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) and Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.). They invited Bae's mother, Myunghee Bae, and sister, Terri Chung.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) invited Lilly Ledbetter, the woman who inspired the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) brought Ted Nugent to the last year’s address. This year, Stockman will bring Chad Henderson, a former Obama volunteer who thought he and his father had signed up for an ObamaCare exchange plan, only to find out they weren't enrolled.