Congressman Picks ‘Lesser Prairie Chicken’ Over State Of The Union

Republican Rep. Pearce will attend a public hearing to decide whether to list the bird as a threatened species. Sorry, Mr. President.

Handout / Reuters

WASHINGTON — When President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address next week, a joint session of Congress will convene to watch.

But Rep. Steve Pearce, a New Mexico Republican, won’t be among the lawmakers present.

On Tuesday, he tweeted a partial explanation:

Public hearing on the chicken is the same day as the State of the Union. It’s more important to be in NM, standing with you.— Steve Pearce

The “chicken” in question, the lesser prairie-chicken, is a candidate to be listed as a threatened species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — and the public hearing to evaluate that proposal in New Mexico will be held concurrently with the president’s State of the Union address.

“The hearing date has long been on the congressman’s calendar, since before the announcement of the State of the Union address,” Eric Layer, Pearce’s spokesperson, said. “This is a very important issue to New Mexico. New Mexico jobs, as well as millions of dollars in state revenue for education, are at stake over this decision. Rep. Pearce believes that it was important to stand with his constituents at the hearing.”

Pearce has opposed adding the bird to the list.

Check out more articles on!

  Your Reaction?

    Starting soon, you'll only be able to post a comment on BuzzFeed using a Facebook account or via our app. If you have questions or thoughts, email us here.


    Hot Buzz

    These Tiny Fossils From An Ancient Undersea Vent Show Life On Earth Is Even Older Than ...

    How Many Of These Foods Do You Eat With Hot Sauce?

    Now Buzzing