When President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of Congress on Tuesday he will be speaking to a number of guests invited by Democrats intended to symbolize opposition to his immigration and health care policies.
Several Democratic lawmakers have invited refugees, immigrants, Muslim Americans and people who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act. Trump, elected on a promise to crack down on illegal immigration and repeal the health care law, is making his first address to Congress.
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer has invited Ola Ojewumi, a community organizer and women's health advocate from Beltsville, who was able to stay on her parent's health care plan until the age of 26 after developing cancer.
"Marylanders like Ola are the very reason why I am working to protect the Affordable Care Act and oppose efforts to repeal the law," the Southern Maryland lawmaker said in a statement.
Democratic Rep. John Sarbanes of Baltimore County has invited Vincent DeMarco, a longtime advocate for the health care law and also gun control measures in Maryland.
Other invited guests from Maryland's mostly Democratic delegation were less directly political. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger of Baltimore County is bringing Anne Arundel County Councilman Pete Smith. He initially invited Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh. It is not clear why Pugh decided against attending.
A spokesman for Pugh did not respond to an emailed question.
Sen. Ben Cardin took a bipartisan approach by inviting R. Michael Gill, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's secretary of commerce.
Rep. Jamie Raskin of Montgomery County is bringing two guests to the speech -- and a dog. Retired Marine Sgt. Matt Moores, one of his guests, was injured during a deployment to Afghanistan when his unit struck an improvised explosive device. Moores was the recipient of a Warrior Canine Connection service dog named James.
Raskin is also hosting Theresa R. Alban, the superintendent of Frederick County Public Schools.