President Donald Trump is speaking at his second official State of the Union tonight, which begins at 9 p.m. Eastern. Some Democrats boycotted his address to Congress last year, and more are boycotting again this year. However, the number doesn’t appear to be as great as 2018, when 11 Democrats said they don’t plan to attend the State of the Union. In 2017, just four people officially announced before the address that they weren’t attending, and not all of them were Democrats.
The Democrats who have decided not to attend include the following.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer from Oregon, who also didn’t attend last year, won’t be attending this year. He wrote in a statement: “The thought of spending Tuesday night in the House Chamber listening to the reckless, self-centered man who occupies the White House holds no interest for me. Just like in past years, I plan to skip a speech that will be filled with lies, deception and divisiveness.”
Meanwhile, he’s advocating for the Green New Deal:
Rep. Steve Cohen from Tennessee also will be boycotting the SOTU tonight. He has previously called for Trump’s impeachment. He told The Hill: “I will not attend the State of the Union once again this year. I’ll come to the House Chamber for the State of the Union the next time I can hear from a president who will tell the truth about the State of the Union.”
Rep. John Lewis and Rep. Hank Johnson from Georgia have said they won’t be attending. Lewis also did not attend last year.
Lewis’ most recent tweet was about Martin Luther King, Jr.:
Johnson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “I have a problem with defiling the speaker’s chair in the House of Representatives. I don’t want to see it lowered, as is what happens when Donald Trump comes to our floor and starts talking about groups of people, particularly Latinos, and disparaging them as a people.”
He will, however, be watching Abrams’ speech.
Although a Supreme Court Justice and not technically a Democrat, it’s very likely that Ruth Bader Ginsburg won’t attend. She didn’t attend the last two years, and she just made her first public appearance last night after recovering from serious cancer surgery.