Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) announced that she will boycott President Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, joining a few of her fellow Democrats in refusing to attend.
The freshman lawmakers explained her decision in a tweet, saying that she did not want to “use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution.”
“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 tweeted. “None of this is normal, and I will not legitimize it. Consequently, I will not be attending the State of the Union.”
She went on to describe the decision as a “deeply personal” one she did not make lightly adding that she would be on Instagram Live to take questions during the address.
Another squad member, Rep. Ayanna Pressely (D-MA) followed suit in also announcing that she will be boycotting the address. She described her decision to boycott due to Trump “consistently demonstrates contempt” for American people, Congress and the constitution.
“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 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.”
Pressley is set to deliver the official response of the Working Families Party, the progressive organization that has backed Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential bid.
On the other hand, Rep. Ilhan Omar is breaking from her fellow squad members, saying her plans to attend the address as being “resistance.”
“I am attending tonight’s address not to confer any legitimacy on his actions, his statements, or his presidency,” Omar tweeted. “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.”
At least five other House Democrats have announced their intent to boycott the address, including Reps. Al Green (Texas), Steve Cohen (Tenn.), Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), Hank Johnson (Ga.) and Frederica Wilson (Fla.).
Last year, Ocasio-Cortez along with dozens Democratic women all attended the State of the Union last year wearing all white as a symbol commemorating the white dresses women wore as they campaigned for the right to vote 100 years ago.