Several House Democrats, including two members of the group of four liberal freshmen known as “the Squad,” announced Tuesday that they will boycott Trump’s State of the Union address.
The group includes several lawmakers who have skipped Trump’s annual speech to Congress in previous years.
The two “Squad” members — Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) — cited Trump’s conduct as their reason for staying away from the House chamber Tuesday night.
“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 said in a tweet. “None of this is normal, and I will not legitimize it.”
Pressley pointed to Trump’s rhetoric and policies, which she said stoke “fear in people of color, women, healthcare providers, LGBTQ+ communities, low-income families, and many more.”
“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,” she said in a statement.
Another member of “the Squad,” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), said she will attend “on behalf of all of those targeted by this President to say, ‘We are greater than hate.’ ”
“My presence tonight is resistance,” she said in a tweet.
The fourth member of “the Squad” — Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) — will also attend.
Tlaib said she is attending “to be seen” and to tell “a president who told me to go back where I came from that I am coming back to the House of Representatives.”
Trump last year told the four congresswomen to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” prompting a bipartisan outcry.
Others boycotting Tuesday’s proceedings include Democratic Reps. Al Green (Tex.), Steve Cohen (Tenn.), Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), Hank Johnson (Ga.), Frederica S. Wilson (Fla.) and Bobby L. Rush (Ill.).