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Here Are the Democrats Skipping Trump’s Inauguration

Nearly 70 Democratic House members won’t attend Friday’s swearing-in

Virginia Rep. Gerald E. Connolly is one of the latest Democratic House members to say that he won’t attend Donald Trump’s inauguration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Virginia Rep. Gerald E. Connolly is one of the latest Democratic House members to say that he won’t attend Donald Trump’s inauguration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Even before President-elect Donald Trump attacked Georgia Rep. John Lewis on Twitter over the weekend, a handful of Democratic lawmakers had planned to boycott Trump’s inauguration on Friday.

But by the end of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday on Monday night, that group had ballooned. As of Friday morning, nearly 70 Democrats in the House said they will not attend out of protest. Several other House Democrats are not attending for medical or other reasons. No Democratic senators have announced intentions to boycott. 

In a taped interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Friday, Lewis said he would not be attending the inauguration because he believes Trump is not a “legitimate president.” That provoked an early-morning Twitter tirade from Trump in which he dismissed the civil rights icon as “all talk, talk, talk.”

The criticism of Lewis prompted other members of the House Democratic Caucus to announce that they would skip the inauguration, too, out of solidarity with Lewis. Massachusetts Rep. Katherine M. Clark, California Rep. Barbara Lee, Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Illinois Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez were among the first to announce they’d skip the inauguration, well before Lewis’ comments. They’re now being joined by Democrats from across the country, most of whom represent reliably blue districts.

Here’s a list of the Democrats who have announced they will not attend, with those who most recently announced closer to the top.

California Rep. Alan Lowenthal

Texas Rep. Filemon Vela made a last-minute decision not to attend, in part, because Trump did not include a Hispanic in his Cabinet.

Massachusetts Rep. Michael E. Capuano said Wednesday that instead of attending the inauguration, he would be holding an open-house meeting in his district.

Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky:

New York Rep. Grace Meng:

Virginia Rep. A. Donald McEachin said Wednesday afternoon that his train ticket to D.C. for the inauguration will go unused. “I’m not sure what there is to celebrate,” he said.

Alabama Rep. Terri A. Sewell said Wednesday the “blatant disrespect” toward Lewis dissuaded her from attending. But she called for healing moving forward.

Virginia Rep. Gerald E. Connolly released a statement on Wednesday saying that he “cannot” attend Trump’s ceremony.

Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego posted messages on social media channels, calling for supporters to oppose “Trump’s bigotries — birther conspiracies, attacks on Gold Star parents & civil rights heroes.”

New York Rep. Louise M. Slaughter will be skipping the inauguration, a spokesman told the (Rochester) Democrat and Chronicle, but the congresswoman will attend other events, including the post-inauguration luncheon.

California Rep. Jerry McNerney told The (Stockton) Record on Monday he had a scheduling conflict that prevented him from attending, and that his absence wasn’t a protest. But on Tuesday night, he released a new statement saying, “The election of Mr. Trump lacks legitimacy.”

Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson will remain in his district this weekend. An aide told The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger that “Mr. Trump’s recent insensitive and foolish remarks about civil rights hero John Lewis were far beneath the dignity of the office of the president.”

Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin said in a statement Tuesday, “These are not normal times and I cannot pretend as if they are.” His decision not to attend is a change. On Sunday, he told Bethesda Magazine it was his “constitutional duty to be there.”

New Jersey Rep. Donald M. Payne Jr. said in a Tuesday evening statement that he “will not celebrate [Trump’s] swearing-in to an office that he has proven unfit to hold.”

Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett:

Florida Rep. Alcee L. Hastings:

California Rep. Juan Vargas:

Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley’s spokeswoman said Tuesday the congressman “fully supports the peaceful transfer of power but has chosen to spend the district workweek with those who have elected him,” according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

Illinois Rep. Daniel Lipinski’s spokesman said the congressman “prefers working in his district and spending time with his wife to watching the inauguration ceremony and attending parties in Washington.”

Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Doyle:

California Rep. Tony Cárdenas said on Tuesday that he won’t attend the inauguration. Instead, from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, he and his wife will participate in an hour of meditation. “While Donald Trump is being sworn in, I think a good use of my time is to promote positivity,” he said in a Wednesday statement. 

North Carolina Rep. Alma Adams:

Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro released a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying he wouldn’t attend the inauguration but would be in Washington, D.C., on Friday to greet constituents. “I respect their choice to attend,” he said.

North Carolina Rep. G. K. Butterfield:

Texas Rep. Al Green said in a statement that he would not “attend the inauguration because conscience says it is the right thing to do.”

New Hampshire Rep. Carol Shea-Porter is the rare Democrat from a district that Trump won to announce she won’t attend:

Pennsylvania Rep. Brendan F. Boyle:

Pennsylvania Rep. Robert A. Brady told ABC6 Monday night, “I want to support John Lewis, he’s a personal friend of mine.”

Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth:

Virginia Rep. Don Beyer:

New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler:

Maine Rep. Chellie Pingree:

Maryland Rep. Anthony G. Brown:

Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr.said on Monday he wouldn’t attend because of “divisive and inflammatory statements made by the president-elect.”

California Rep. Raul Ruiz told The Desert Sun on Monday that Trump has not shown respect for the office of the presidency.

Florida Rep. Darren Soto said he was “deeply disappointed” by Trump’s attacks on Lewis.  

California Rep. Judy Chu:

Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan:

California Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard:

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison:

Pennsylvania Rep. Dwight Evans:

New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat:

Ohio Rep. Marcia L. Fudge:

Arizona Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva:

Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal:

Washington Rep. Adam Smith said he will be in his district since the House isn’t in session the week of inauguration.

New York Rep. Yvette D. Clarke:

California Rep. Mark Takano:

New York Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez:

Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen:

Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson:

A spokesman for California Rep. Karen Bass told The Washington Post the lawmaker is not attending after she asked in a Twitter poll on Sunday whether she should.

California Rep. Maxine Waters:

New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman:

California Rep. Ted Lieu:

California Rep. Grace F. Napolitano is not attending, per the Los Angeles Times’ list. (At least 12 Golden State Democrats are skipping inauguration.)

Georgia Rep. John Lewis.

California Rep. Zoe Lofgren told the Los Angeles Times she is not “in the mood to celebrate” Trump taking the oath of office. 

Oregon Rep. Peter A. DeFazio told Oregon Public Broadcasting he typically abstains from “pomp and circumstance events in Washington,” so his decision not to attend isn’t extraordinary.

California Rep. Mark DeSaulnier:

Missouri Rep. William Lacy Clay told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he’ll be in his district speaking to students.

Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader told Oregon Public Broadcasting on Friday that Trump “hasn’t proved himself to me at all yet, so I respectfully decline to freeze my ass out there in the cold for this particular ceremony.”

New York Rep. José E. Serrano:

California Rep. Barbara Lee:

Illinois Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez announced his decision on Jan. 10 on the House floor.

California Rep. Jared Huffman:

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer announced on Jan. 7 that he would not attend:

Massachusetts Rep. Katherine M. Clark announced her decision to skip the inauguration on Jan. 5:

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