CHICAGO (CBS) — Several members of Congress are now intending to boycott President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address on Tuesday, including Rep. Jan Schakowsky.
Here is a list of Democrats saying they won’t attend, along with statements some have released regarding why they’re boycotting:
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). “I refuse to normalize President Donald Trump and his loathsome language and actions. The American people have been subjected to a year of racist, erratic, and divisive behavior from their Commander in Chief, and I refuse to accept that as the new normal.”
Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL). “I cannot in good conscience stand silently by and watch generations of struggle for equal rights, for civil, human and voting rights, for the rights of women, for social and economic justice be undone from the highest office in the land. Therefore, during the President’s 2018 State of the Union Address, I will be in Chicago meeting with constituents from the 7th Congressional District to explore the Peoples’ State of the Union.”
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL). “This has been the most chaotic, divisive, and incompetent first year of any administration and I will not sit and watch as Trump pretends that he’s off to a successful start. He’s not. Trump does not respect the office, our long standing institutions, traditions, and many of our citizens, who he has repeatedly insulted. We are watching the presidency erode before our eyes and I, for one, refuse to participate in pomp and circumstance that does nothing but normalize his egregious and hateful behavior. This is a presidency that has been built on racism, stupidity, and lies, which has already wasted enough of America’s time and I will not waste anymore of mine.”
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), an outspoken Trump critic who has called for his impeachment. “Why would I take my time to go sit and listen to a liar? To someone who lies in the face of facts, to someone who can change their tune day in and day out. What does he have to say that I would be interested in? I don’t trust him, I don’t appreciate him and I wouldn’t waste my time sitting in that House listening to what he has to say. He does not deserve my attention.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), the first Indian-American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. “If I felt that attending Donald Trump’s State of the Union advanced the interests of Washington’s 7th District, the United States, or the global community to which we are so interconnected, I would be there. But it doesn’t. Here is why.”
Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ), a Cuban immigrant. A spokesperson claimed that his constituents take offense to the president’s “rhetoric and behavior.”
Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), a civil rights icon who called the president a “racist” after reports of the Oval Office s***hole remark emerged.
Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL). “President Trump’s addresses will be full of innuendo, empty promises, and lies.”
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), who represents Trump’s childhood home district in Queens. “I cannot respect him.”
Rep. Earl Blumanauer (D-OR). “I respect the office of the president, Donald Trump does not.”
UIC political science professor Dick Simpson says the boycott will deliver a clear message of disapproval. But, is the State of the Union — one of the symbols of unified government — the place to do it?
“The Republicans are saying that it’s inappropriate to do this. There will be some moderates in the Democratic party who think it’s inappropriate,” Simpson said. “The real question is what’s the judgment of the American people?”
The White House has not provided comment.