A spokesman for Harris said the congressman’s absence was not “out of protest” but that “he just wanted to avoid Washington yesterday.”
A spokeswoman for Good said that, “like millions of Americans,” Good watched the ceremony virtually with his family at home in the 5th Congressional District.
“They’re really discouraging folks from being in D.C. from a security standpoint, and so I’ve decided to follow the counsel I’ve given to the folks in the 5th District, just to stay away and watch from home with my family,” Good said in an interview with ABC 13 on Tuesday. “I would be remiss in saying I would be more excited if the election had turned out differently, but if it was normal times, I would have attended, absolutely.”
Good, who objected to Biden’s electoral college victory in two states on Jan. 6, added that he hoped to work with Biden on items on which they could agree but would “challenge him when I don’t believe he’s right and where I don’t agree with his policies.”
Harris also challenged the electoral college votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania. Three other GOP Republican lawmakers from Virginia, Reps. Ben Cline, H. Morgan Griffith and Rob Wittman, objected to electoral college votes as well, but they attended the inauguration.
At least a dozen congressional Republicans and a handful of Democrats gave varying reasons for their absence. Some like Reps. Ron Wright (R) and Filemon Vela (D) of Texas were self-quarantining due to coronavirus exposure concerns; Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) cited concerns about the virus generally.
Other lawmakers — including Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), who did not object to Biden’s electoral votes, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), a freshman who has flirted with the QAnon extremist group and who did object — cited security concerns. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), a close Trump ally, said he would attend virtually, saying he didn’t want to contribute to the “security strain” already weighing on law enforcement.
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) was recovering from foot surgery while Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said he was in Washington but was busy with work related to Biden’s Cabinet nominees.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-Tex.) was suffering from cedar allergies and clogged ears, he told the Austin American-Statesman.
In 2017, more than 65 Democratic lawmakers boycotted Trump’s swearing-in, to protest what they described as his alarming and divisive policies, foreign interference in his election and his criticism of then-Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who died last year.