A growing group of Democratic lawmakers will boycott President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration Friday to protest what they described as his alarming and divisive policies, foreign interference in his election and his criticism of civil rights icon John Lewis, a congressman from Georgia.
There are now nearly 60 House Democrats — 59, at last count — who have declared that they will not attend the inauguration on Capitol Hill this week. The number rose sharply after Trump tweeted Saturday that Lewis (D) is "all talk, talk, talk" and should "finally focus on the burning and crime infested inner-cities."
Lewis, who sees Trump's Nov. 8 win as illegitimate because of Russia's alleged interference in the election, is best known for leading civil rights protests in the 1960s, including the 1965 march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., during which state troopers brutally attacked the crowd. Lewis will not attend the inauguration, he told NBC News in an interview for Sunday's "Meet the Press."
Here's a list of who's skipping the event. Rep. Alma Adams (N.C.)
Adams said in a statement that she has deep respect for the peaceful transition of power, but that she will stay home and meet with constituents during the inauguration.
"In November, the President-elect promised to bridge the divide to help us find common ground. Unfortunately, that promise has not been honored. Instead, President-elect Trump has validated our fears with his cabinet picks, tweets and attacks."
Rep. Karen Bass (Calif.)
Bass made her decision after conducting a Twitter poll on whether or not she should attend the inauguration.
Rep. Don Beyer (Va.)
Beyer announced on Facebook that he will skip the inauguration.
"Yes, I treasure the peaceful transition of power. Yes, I will respect the constitutional prerogatives of the presidency. But I will not be part of normalizing or legitimizing a man whose election may well have depended on the malicious foreign interference of Russia's leaders," he continued.
"His values and his actions are the antitheses of those I hold dear. It would be the height of hypocrisy for me to pretend to be part of his inaugural celebration."Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.) Blumenauer told Oregon Public Broadcasting he would miss an inauguration for the first time since his election. "Here is a person who ran a campaign that is the antithesis of everything I've worked for in public service," he said, adding that attending is "not a productive use of my time."
Rep. Brendan Boyle (Pa.)
"The election of Donald Trump presents a challenge to my long held view of presidential inaugurations. As much as I cherish this day, can I in good conscience celebrate that which I believe is a grave mistake? Can I sit by mere yards away and applaud the desecration of the most important office in the history of the world?" Boyle said in a statement, according to CBS Philadelphia.
"After wrestling with this question for the last two months, I have concluded I cannot participate in this Inaugural celebration. I accept the decision of the people. I respect it. But I will not celebrate it."
Rep. Robert Brady (Pa.)
'I'm not going to go to the Inaugural. I want to support John Lewis, he's a personal friend of mine," Brady said Monday, according to ABC 6 Philadelphia.
Rep. Anthony Brown (Md.)
"I respect the office of President of the United States, and I can only hope that soon you will earn the respect of all the people whom you have been elected to lead. For now, regrettably, your recent verbal attack on Mr. Lewis disrespected him and his office, showed a disregard for the office you will soon hold and the Constitution you will soon swear to uphold, and demands my absence from your inauguration," Brown wrote on Facebook.
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (NC)
"Considering Mr. Trump's brand of division & insult, I believe it would be hurtful to my constituents for me to attend the inauguration. It is my hope that President Trump will transform his behavior and lead our nation in a positive direction for all Americans."
Rep. Joaquin Castro (Texas)
Castro said he won't attend the ceremony, but will be in Washington to meet with constituents who've traveled for the inauguration.
"Every American should respect the office of the presidency and the fact that Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States. But winning an election does not mean a man can show contempt for millions of Americans and then expect those very people to celebrate him," Castro said in a statement on Tuesday.
Rep. Tony Cardenas (Calif.)
"This week I've been thinking a lot about what my parents, family, and constituents would say about the situation I'm facing. After serious consideration, I have decided that I will not stand with Donald Trump during his ceremonial inauguration," Cardenas said in a statement on Tuesday.
He plans on attending the Women's March on Washington on Saturday with his wife and daughter.Rep. Judy Chu (Calif.) "After much thought, I have decided to #StandWithJohnLewis and not attend the inauguration," she tweeted. Rep. Katherine Clark (Mass.) Clark said she felt her presence at Trump's inauguration would serve as part of the "normalization" of Trump's actions. "I had hoped the President-elect would use the transition period and his appointments to change course and fulfill his promise to be a President for all Americans; however, this has not been the case," Clark said in a statement on Jan. 5. "After discussions with hundreds of my constituents, I do not feel that I can contribute to the normalization of the President-elect's divisive rhetoric by participating in the Inauguration." Rep. Yvette Clarke (N.Y.) Clarke also joined Lewis after he faced criticism from Trump. "When you insult [John Lewis], you insult America," she tweeted. Rep. William Lacy Clay (Mo.) Clay's spokesman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he will skip the inauguration and be "back home in St. Louis speaking to school kids." Rep. Steve Cohen (Tenn.)
"I sat on the floor of the House of Representatives with John Lewis to protest the inability of the Republican Congress to give us a vote on gun violence. I sat with John Lewis then. And I will stand with John Lewis now. Therefore, I will not be attending the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States of America this week," Cohen said, according to WKRN News 2 in Nashville.Rep. John Conyers (Mich.) Conyers, the longest-serving member of the House, won't be attending the inauguration, a spokeswoman confirmed Jan. 14. Conyers is a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus and has served in the House since 1965. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (Calif.) DeSaulnier announced his boycott on Twitter on Jan. 13. "It is with a heavy heart and deep personal conviction that I have decided not to attend the #TrumpInauguration on January 20, 2017," he wrote, adding a video message where he said Trump will be in violation of the Constitution due to conflicts of interest.Rep. Lloyd Dogett (Texas)
Doggett announces on Twitter that he'll skip inauguration because Trump is dividing the country.
Rep. Mike Doyle (Pa.)
"I'm going to #StandWithJohnLewis. I won't attend the Inauguration on Friday," he tweeted.
Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.)
"I will not celebrate a man who preaches a politics of division and hate. I won't be attending Donald Trump's inauguration," he tweeted Monday afternoon.
Rep. Adriano Espaillat (N.Y.)
Invoking Martin Luther King Jr. Day, he wrote in a Facebook message that "it is up to us to preserve [Dr. King's] legacy and the legacy of President Barack Obama to ensure that we do not go back in time!
President-elect Donald Trump is trying to take us back! And the people Trump is appointing– Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions – are trying to take us back!
That's why I am not attending the presidential inauguration. Donald Trump and the hate-filled rhetoric that plagued his election simply will continue in his administration.
THIS is not Dr. King's Dream!"Rep. Dwight Evans (Pa.)
"I #StandWithJohnLewis. I will not be attending the inauguration. Russian hacking must be investigated and I do not support the repeal of ACA," Evans tweeted Monday.Rep. Marcia Fudge (Ohio)Al Green (Texas)
"I will not attend the inauguration because conscience says it is the right thing to do," he said in a statement.Rep. Ruben Gallego (Ariz.) Gallego said on Twitter that he would not attend the inauguration, blaming "Trump's bigotries." Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.) Grijalva announced on the House floor Jan. 13 that he'd be back in his Tucson-area district meeting with constituents and activists instead of attending Trump's inauguration. The Arizona Democrat is a co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. "My absence is not motivated by disrespect for the office or motivated by disrespect for the government that we have in this great democracy. But as an individual act, yes, of defiance, at the disrespect shown to millions and millions of Americans by this incoming administration and by the actions we are taking in this Congress," Grijalva said. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (Ill.) Gutiérrez was the first lawmaker to say he'd boycott Trump's inauguration. Instead, he plans to attend the anti-Trump Women's March on Washington on Jan. 21. "I cannot go to [the] inauguration of a man who's going to appoint people to the Supreme Court and turn back the clock on women and turn back the clock on immigrants and the safety and freedom that we fought for them," he said on CNN's "New Day" in December. Rep. Alcee Hastings (Fla.) "This decision is not a protest of the results of the Electoral College, but rather, an objection to the demagoguery that continues to define the incoming administration," he said in a statement. Rep. Jared Huffman (Calif.) In a Facebook post on Jan. 7, Huffman said he would "ordinarily" attend a presidential inauguration, regardless of which party was assuming power in the White House. "However, there is nothing ordinary about this inauguration or the man that will be sworn-in as our next President. I do accept the election results and support the peaceful transfer of power, but it is abundantly clear to me that with Donald Trump as our President, the United States is entering a dark and very dangerous political chapter," Huffman said. "I will do everything I can to limit the damage and the duration of this chapter, and I believe we can get through it," he added. "But I will not sit passively and politely applaud as it begins." Rep. Pramila Jayapal (Wash.)
Rep. Barbara Lee (Calif.)Lee said she was disappointed Trump didn't try to unify the country after running one of the most divisive campaigns in American history. "Donald Trump has proven that his administration will normalize the most extreme fringes of the Republican Party," Lee said in a statement on Jan. 12. "On Inauguration Day, I will not be celebrating. I will be organizing and preparing for resistance." Rep. John Lewis (Ga.) Lewis's boycott is perhaps the most significant. The civil rights icon is skipping a presidential inauguration for the first time since he began serving in the House 30 years ago. He told NBC's "Meet the Press" that he doesn't think Trump is a "legitimate president" given Russia's attempts to help elect the real estate mogul. "You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right," Lewis said. Rep. Ted Lieu (Calif.) Lieu called the Jan. 20 ceremony "a personal decision" since no votes will be taken, adding, "While I do not dispute that Trump won the Electoral College, I cannot normalize his behavior or the disparaging and un-American statements he has made." "I can only hope that Trump will govern differently than he has campaigned. For me, the personal decision not to attend the Inauguration is quite simple: Do I stand with Donald Trump, or do I stand with John Lewis? I am standing with John Lewis," he said.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.)
"I acknowledge the fact that he is the incoming president, but I'm not in the mood to celebrate that fact," Lofgren told the Los Angeles Times.
Rep. Jerry Nadler (N.Y.)
Nadler told CNN that he cannot go "because of the president-elect's inflammatory comments, his racist campaign, his conflicts of interest [and] his refusal to disclose his taxes."
Nadler said that the "last straw" was Trump's "ad hominem personal attacks on an icon of the civil rights movement, someone who suffered beatings and almost gave his life for this country, [Rep.] John Lewis [D-Ga.]."
Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (N.J.)
"Donald Trump will be our president, and I will work with him if my values permit, and if doing so is in the best interest of my constituents and the nation. But I will not celebrate his swearing-in to an office that he has proven unfit to hold," Payne said in a statement on Tuesday.Rep. Chellie Pingree (Maine)
"President-elect Trump's actions go beyond any kind of reasonable debate—they threaten the constitutional values our country is based on. I won't dignify or normalize those threats by standing by at his ceremony," Pingree said in a statement Monday.
Pingree added that she plans to attend the Women's March on Washington the day after the inauguration.Rep. Mark Pocan (Wis.)
Rep. Mike Quigley (Ill.)
Quigley "fully supports the peaceful transfer of power," a spokeswoman told The Chicago Tribune, "but [he] has chose to spend the week with those who have elected him."
Rep. Jamie Raskin (Md.)
Raskin said he that for weeks he's "assumed" he'd attend the inauguration "as a gesture of constitutionalism."
"But, as the hour approaches, I realize that I cannot bring myself to go," he said in a Tuesday evening statement, adding that "The moral and political legitimacy of this presidency are in the gravest doubt."
"… I do not rejoice in this decision or take pride in it, any more than I would rejoice or take pride in going; the inauguration ceremony is just a fact of life now, and we must all deal with it as best we can," he continued.
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (Calif.)
"I thought long and hard about attending the Inauguration because I value our democracy and respect the office of the presidency, regardless of party. However, the disparaging remarks the President-elect has made about many groups, including women, Mexicans, and Muslims, are deeply contrary to my values."As a result, I will not be attending the Inauguration. For the sake of our nation, and a world which looks to America for moral leadership, I hope the President-elect will change the tone of his rhetoric, and govern responsibly, respectfully, and compassionately, in accordance with our American values," she said in a statement.
Rep. Raul Ruiz (Calif.)
"A real president doesn't attack the press because they ask tough questions," Ruiz told the Desert Sun. "A real president doesn't insult and bully celebrities or everyday Americans because they disagree with him. A real president doesn't use the office to make millions more for his own wealth or his family's wealth."Rep. Kurt Schrader (Ore.) Schrader also told Oregon Public Broadcasting he wouldn't attend Trump's inauguration. "I'm just not a big Trump fan. I've met the guy and never been impressed with him," Schrader said. "I'll do my best to work with him when I think he's doing the right thing for the country. But he 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." Unlike most of the Democrats on this list, Schrader is a centrist. Rep. José E. Serrano (N.Y.) The Bronx congressman tweeted Jan. 12 that he "cannot celebrate the inauguration of a man who has no regard for my constituents.
Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (N.H.)
Shea-Porter tweeted Monday night that she will "go to religious services to pray for all of our leaders and people, then will serve my district."
Rep. Louise Slaughter (N.Y.)
"Congressman John Lewis and I came to Congress at the same time, and he has become like a brother to me," Slaughter said in a statement on Tuesday.
"For all that he's stood for all these years, I'm happy to stand with him. As tough as this decision is, I was sent to Washington to get things done, which is why I will be working with the president-elect in the years ahead to move my district and our nation forward."
Rep. Darren Soto (Fla.)
"I am deeply disappointed with Trump's attacks against civil rights hero John Lewis and will not be attending the inauguration as a result," Soto said, according to WFTV Orlando.Rep. Mark Takano (Calif.) Hours after Trump tore into Lewis for saying he wasn't a "legitimate president," Takano tweeted that he was boycotting the inauguration in solidarity with Lewis. "I stand with @repjohnlewis and I will not be attending the inauguration," he tweeted, with a photo of Lewis marching alongside Martin Luther King Jr.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (Miss.)
Thompson's office told the Clarion-Ledger that he would not attend the inauguration. "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," said Cory Horton, legislative director for Thompson.
Rep. Juan Vargas (Calif.)
Vargas announced Tuesday on Twitter that he'll skip the inauguration.
"Instead, I will be praying for our country and for our community with the people of my district," he added.Rep. Nydia Velázquez (N.Y.) Velázquez will not attend the inauguration but will attend the Women's March in Washington the following day, a spokesman told The Hill. Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.)
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (N.J.)
She'll be holding an interfaith prayer vigil in Trenton, N.J., she tweeted on Sunday.
"I do not intend to attend the inauguration of PE @realDonaldTrump. Instead, join me for an Interfaith Prayer Vigil."
Rep. John Yarmuth (Ky.)
Yarmuth announced Monday night that he'll skip Friday's inauguration because Trump has used "his bully pulpit for insult and ridicule."
"I will not be attending the inauguration because I believe the office of the President deserves our respect, and that respect must begin with the President-elect himself," he said.
Citing Trump's comments this weekend about Rep. John Lewis (R-Ga.), Yarmuth said, "This is not normal. It is an embarrassment to our country and to the office of the presidency, and we must send the message that this behavior is not acceptable from the leader of our nation. Not attending the Inauguration is one way for me to do that."
This aricle is an amalgam of information from the Washington Post and The Hill.
JAnuary 18, 2017
1. Want to encourage your own elected officials not to attend ? Call them. Find out their numbers by texting your zip code to 520-200-2223. Voices4Hillary is sure you will have a few other requests to make during that call- defend the Affordable Care Act, object to specific Trump nominees, and so on.
2. Stand with John Lewis. Boycott the inauguration. Watch or set your DVR to ESPN or cartoons all day. Drive his ratings down.