Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) announced Tuesday that they will join a small group of House Democrats in boycotting President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.
“After much deliberation, I have decided that I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter. “None of this is normal, and I will not legitimize it.”
“Consequently, I will not be attending the State of the Union,” the freshman “Squad” member concluded.
After much deliberation, I have decided that I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution.
None of this is normal, and I will not legitimize it.
Consequently, I will not be attending the State of the Union.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 4, 2020
“The State of the Union is hurting because of the occupant of the White House, who consistently demonstrates contempt for the American people, contempt for Congress, and contempt for our constitution – strong-arming a sham impeachment trial in the Senate. This presidency is not legitimate,” Pressley said in a separate statement.
“On the eve of Senate Republicans covering up transgressions and spreading misinformation, I cannot in good conscience attend a sham State of the Union when I have seen firsthand the damage Donald J. Trump’s rhetoric and policies have inflicted on those I love and those I represent,” the Massachusetts Democrat added.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) broke with her fellow “Squad” members, saying that while she does not view President Trump as “legitimate,” she will still attend the address as an act of “resistance.”
I am attending tonight’s address not to confer any legitimacy on his actions, his statements, or his presidency.
I am attending on behalf of all of those targeted by this President to say, ‘We are greater than hate.’
My presence tonight is resistance.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 4, 2020
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) will also attend the address.
Tlaib takes a selfie of the female Dems wearing suffragette white to tonight’s #SOTU but says not everyone is able to fit in the photo! (And this is only a small fraction of the # of House Dem women.) pic.twitter.com/avnjV785vt
— Cristina Marcos (@cimarcos) February 4, 2020
Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley join Reps. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Al Green (D-TX), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Frederica Wilson (D-FL), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) in skipping Tuesday evening’s highly anticipated speech, which will take place one day prior to the president’s expected acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial.
“I have chosen not to dignify Trump’s parade of lies about health care, his persistent exaggeration, and his personal attacks with my attendance at this year’s State of the Union Address. His appalling performances each day continue to justify that decision, and I have no doubt tomorrow night will be more of the same — even possibly worse,” Blumenauer said of the decision.
“I will not be a witness to puffery and prevarication flowing while our Constitution and our laws are disrespectfully and dangerously flouted,” Cohen, one of the first lawmakers to call for PresidentTrump’s removal, said in a separate statement.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley hinted earlier Tuesday that the president’s speech will focus on his administration’s accomplishments and steer clear of impeachment.
“We look forward to that vote tomorrow and getting this all past us. Because the American people just deserve better than the partisanship of the Democrats putting their own personal political desires above the needs of the American people. But this speech tonight is about the great American comeback,” Gidley told the Fox News Channel’s Outnumbered Overtime.
“I read the speech, and the word impeachment’s not in it. Now, we’ll see what happens,” he added.