The number of Democratic members of Congress who will not attend President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address on Tuesday totals 11, which is 49 less than those who boycotted his inauguration.
While the Democrats cite what they consider offensive remarks the president has made as the reason for not attending the address, in statements issued to the press, the lawmakers call Trump a racist and a liar.
Trump’s State of the Union address will be the first Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) will not attend, Fox News reported based on a statement by the lawmaker.
“I have no doubt that instead of delivering a message of inclusivity and an agenda that benefits all Americans, President Trump’s address will be full of innuendo, empty promises, and lies,” Wilson said.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) called Trump a liar.
“What does he have to say that I would be interested in?” Waters asked during an interview with MSNBC.
“This is a presidency that has been built on racism, stupidity, and lies, which has already wasted enough of America’s time and I will not waste any more of mine,” said Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL), Time reported.
“I cannot in all good conscience be in a room with what he has said about so many Americans. I just cannot do it. I wouldn’t be honest with myself,” Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) said in an interview with MSNBC. “I don’t appreciate him, and I wouldn’t waste my time sitting in that House listening to what he has to say.”
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) tweeted his decision, stating, “I just announced on #PoliticsNation that I will NOT attend the State of the Union. Instead, I’ll monitor this President from my office. His current comments about black unemployment, which remains unacceptably high, is just another sign that he doesn’t get it”:
I just announced on #PoliticsNation that I will NOT attend the State of the Union. Instead, I’ll monitor this President from my office. His current comments about black unemployment, which remains unacceptably high, is just another sign that he doesn’t get it.
— Gregory Meeks (@RepGregoryMeeks) January 28, 2018
Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Danny Davis (D-IL) are also boycotting the speech, Time reported.
“Hearing from Oregonians and working together to protect our values and advance policies that actually strengthen our communities is a more productive use of my time,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said in a statement.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) posted a video on Twitter about the SOTU address:
“With all the racism and hatred coming out of this White House, I will NOT be attending Donald Trump’s State of the Union address,” Jayapal said in the video:
ANNOUNCEMENT: With all the racism coming from the White House, I will NOT be attending @realDonaldTrump's State of the Union.
Instead, we'll focus on the State of OUR Union, our opposition to his agenda, and we will lift up a progressive and inclusive vision of our country. pic.twitter.com/dcAWMIkZZV
— Pramila Jayapal (@PramilaJayapal) January 15, 2018
Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Albio Sires (D-NJ) have also said they will not attend.