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AOC, Pressley

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) talk during a House Oversight Committee hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (Photo: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez/Instagram)

'None of This Is Normal': AOC Joins Pressley, Other Dems in Boycotting Trump's State of the Union

"I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump's lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution."

Jessica Corbett

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley joined a small but growing list of House Democrats who will skip President Donald Trump's third State of the Union speech, scheduled for 9 pm ET Tuesday.

"I cannot in good conscience attend tonight's sham."
—Rep. Ayanna Pressley

The impeached president, who could be acquitted by Senate Republicans as soon as Wednesday, is expected to discuss immigration, school choice, and foreign policy, among other topics, according to The Hill.

Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) shared her decision not to attend the president's speech in a pair of tweets, saying that "I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump's lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution." The congresswoman added she plans to connect with constituents on Instagram Live after the event.

Pressley (D-Mass.) also explained her decision on Twitter. She accused Trump of demonstrating "contempt" for the American public, Congress, and the Constitution, and concluded that she "cannot in good conscience attend tonight's sham."

With their announcements Tuesday, the congresswomen joined a handful of Democrats who also have announced they intend to skip the event in protest of the president's conduct in office.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said on Twitter that attending the address would not be consistent with her "fight and struggle against this dishonorable president."

Rep. Al Green (D-Texas)—who advocated for impeaching Trump over his "bigotry, hatred, and hostility," long before the Ukraine military aid scandal came to light—reiterated his critique of the president in a tweet Tuesday, calling him "reckless, ruthless, lawless, shameless, corrupt, & unapologetically bigoted." Green added that he would not attend the speech Tuesday night.

At least three other House Democrats—Reps. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), Steve Cohen (Tenn.), and Frederica Wilson (Fla.)—also will not be in attendance. The Hill reported that this will be the third year in a row that the trio has opted out of the event.

"I have chosen not to dignify Trump's parade of lies about healthcare, his persistent exaggeration, and his personal attacks with my attendance at this year's State of the Union address," Blumenauer said Monday. "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."

Cohen said that he "will not be a witness to puffery and prevarication flowing while our Constitution and our laws are disrespectfully and dangerously flouted." The congressman celebrated that his colleagues were also skipping the speech in a tweet Tuesday, linking to a Washington Post analysis of the thousands of lies that Trump has told while in office.

Some members of the Senate who are seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination for president also aren't expected to attend Trump's address. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) all have campaign events scheduled in New Hampshire for Tuesday evening. After a rally in Milford that is set to start at 6:30 pm ET, Sanders plans to deliver a response to Trump's speech from Manchester around 10:30 pm ET.


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