At least 10 House Democrats planned to boycott President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, on the eve of the expected Senate vote to acquit him in his impeachment trial.
The 10 include Reps. Al Green (Texas), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Maxine Waters (Calif.), Bennie Thompson (Miss.), Bobby Rush (Ill.), Steve Cohen (Tenn.), Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), Hank Johnson (Ga.) and Frederica Wilson (Fla.), The Hill reported.
Last year, a total of 14 Democrats skipped President Trump’s State of the Union address. Many of them wanted to show their frustrations after his first full year in office.
What Democrats said about the boycott
Al Green has been one of Trump’s most outspoken critics and was the first member of Congress to offer a resolution calling for the president’s impeachment in December 2017.
He tweeted Tuesday morning, “Because of an impeached, reckless, ruthless, lawless, shameless, corrupt, & unapologetically bigoted president—who is still engaging in a coverup, the state of the House, the state of the Senate, and the #StateOfTheUnion are divided. I will NOT attend #SOTU2020.”
Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Tuesday afternoon, “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,” she added.
Johnson tweeted on Monday about his decision to skip the State of the Union, “During normal times, I would consider it my duty to attend and hear the President’s agenda for the upcoming year. Unfortunately, these are not normal times.”
Pressley said in a 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.”
Waters, another early proponent of impeachment, tweeted, “To think that I would attend the #SOTU to hear the message of an IMPEACHED president is a thought that in no way would be consistent w/ my fight and struggle against this dishonorable president. I will certainly NOT be there!”
Besides, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told The New York Times that she and her fellow Democrats attending the speech Tuesday night would treat Trump “as a guest in our House—and we hope he will behave as a guest in our House.”
“But we never have that expectation,” she added.
The Senate is expected to vote Wednesday to acquit President Trump of the two impeachment articles brought by the House.
The Senate voted Friday not to call any witnesses in the trial, with only two GOP senators, Mitt Romney (Utah) and Susan Collins (Maine), joining with Democrats in support of calling witnesses.