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09-07-2011, 06:00 AM
When President Obama delivers his address on a new job-creation plan to a joint session of Congress on Thursday, he won't be speaking to a sold-out crowd. Several lawmakers are still determining whether it is worth their time to stay in Washington to hear the president, and some are already planning to skip it.

Republican Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia is the latest to announce that he will not be attending, and will instead watch the speech from his office across the street. During the speech, Broun will post his comments about Obama's remarks on Twitter, a tradition he keeps during State of the Union addresses.

"Dr. Broun will not be attending President Obama's joint address, but he looks forward to hearing the president's proposal for job creation," Broun spokeswoman Meredith Griffanti told The Ticket. "Dr. Broun will instead watch the speech from his office where he will host a live town hall via Twitter to interact with his constituents."

Broun remained in his office during Obama's State of the Union address in January, providing his own commentary on the social networking website throughout the speech.

"Mr. President, you don't believe in the Constitution. You believe in socialism," one of Broun's tweets read.

Illinois Republican Rep. Joe Walsh was the first to announce his intentional absence last week, saying he didn't want to act as a "prop" for Obama's speech.

In the upper chamber, South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, a member of the Senate Tea Party Caucus, told Jon Karl of ABC News that he "probably" won't show up either.

"If he sent a written proposal over first, I would go hear him explain it, but frankly right now I'm so frustrated I don't think I'm going to go," DeMint told ABC News. "I can't imagine too many Americans wanting to hear another speech with no real plan attached."

There's also a chance that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio won't be there, but his absence would have nothing to do with politics: Rubio's mother has fallen ill after suffering a series of recent strokes. The freshman senator's schedule this week is "fluid" because of his mother's health, a spokesman from Rubio's office said.