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Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is the designated survivor for President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address tonight. The Commerce Secretary is staying at an undisclosed location far from the US Capitol building. She will remain there until all heads of state have departed the capitol building.

During every state of the union, one person in the president’s cabinet is appointed to be a “designated survivor” in the event that a major disaster hits the US capitol building during the president’s speech. This practice has been in place since the Cold War.

Secretary Raimondo is tenth in the presidential line of succession.The current line of succession is:
Vice President Kamala Harris
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
President Pro Tempore of the Senate Patrick Leahy
Secretary of State Antony Blinken
Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin
Attorney General Merrick Garland
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo
Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh
Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough

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