Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) announced on Tuesday that they will boycott President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.
“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 Tuesday afternoon. “None of this is normal, and I will not legitimize it. Consequently, I will not be attending the State of the Union.”
Ocasio-Cortez described the decision as a “deeply personal” one she did not make lightly and said she would take questions from constituents on Instagram Live later in the evening.
This is a deeply personal decision for each member to make, and a choice I did not take lightly.
I will be hopping on Instagram Live later this evening to connect with my constituents and follow up with their questions about #SOTU.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 4, 2020
“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 her own 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,” she added.
Pressley is set to deliver the official response of the Working Families Party, the progressive organization that, like Pressley herself, has backed Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) presidential bid.
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.).