Over 40 U.S. Representatives Boycotting Trump’s Inauguration

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Congressional Democrats may have accepted the outcome of the election by now, but that doesn’t mean they have to like it.

Since December, several House members said they would not attend Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration Friday. The number of Democratic representatives multiplied after Trump’s insulted John C. Lewis, the veteran House member and civil rights leader, on Twitter.

Some simply said they cannot participate in a ceremony that celebrates a president whose platforms contradict their constituents. Others said they will save their energies for the Woman’s March on Washington, an anti-Trump demonstration scheduled the next day in the capital.

Here’s a running state-by-state list of which representatives are skipping out:


Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva announced Jan. 13 from the House chamber that he would boycott the inauguration. Instead, he said, he will march in Tucson with his constituents.

“My absence is not motivated by disrespect for the office, or motivated by disrespect for the government that we have in this great democracy,” he said, “but as an individual act – yes, of defiance – at the disrespect shown to millions and millions of Americans by this incoming administration.”

He reminded his peers that while Trump won the election, he lost the popular vote. He said those who voted against Trump and even those who did not vote because of dissatisfaction of both parties deserve respect.

Rep. Ruben Gallego announced Jan. 17 he also would not be attending the inauguration out of protest.


California is the state with the largest number of Congressional members avoiding the inauguration. There’s Rep. Jared Huffman, who on Jan. 7 wrote on Facebook that he would not “sit passively” and celebrate Trump’s presidency.

“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,” he 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.”

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who represents the San Jose area, made similar comments to the Los Angeles Times when she told them she wasn’t attending the inauguration.

Rep. Barbara Lee, told CNN in a statement that cannot go and honor “an incoming president who rode racism, sexism, xenophobia and bigotry to the White House.” Instead, she said, she will be organizing.

Several more House members from California decided to boycott the inauguration after Trump insulted veteran Congressman Lewis. They include Ted Lieu, Mark Takano and Judy Chu.

“I’m not going to normalize his behavior,” Lieu told MSNBC. “He’s attacked Gold Star parents, veterans such as John McCain, Latinos, Muslim Americans and now John Lewis.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Maxine Waters said she never planned on attending Trump’s inauguration anyway.

Lucille Roybal-Allard, the first Mexican-American woman elected to Congress, told Fusion, ” 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.”

Unlike her peers, Rep. Karen Bass took to social media to have her constituents decide whether she should attend the inauguration. The majority of the Twitter poll’s respondents said no.


Rep. John Lewis’ announcement that he wouldn’t attend the inauguration sparked a response from the president-elect, which prompted other House Democrats to follow suit.

He told NBC news last week, “I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president… I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected.”

That’s when Trump tweeted that Lewis was “all talk” and suggested he pay more attention to his “crime infested” district.


John Yarmuth, Kentucky’s lone Democratic Congressman, said in a radio interview Monday that he would not attend. Trump, he said, has embarassed the office of the president.

“After a great deal of thought, I’ve decided not to attend the inauguration – partially out of deference to my friend John Lewis, who was attacked in a historically inaccurate and insulting way, but more importantly, because I thought about the fact that leading up to the election and up until this weekend, Donald Trump has consistently behaved in a way that has helped destroy a lot of the dignity of the presidency,” Yarmuth said.


Luis V. Gutierrez was perhaps the first Congressman to announce he would boycott the inauguration. He first told CNN in December and in January delivered a speech on the House floor explaining his decision.

“We all heard the tape when Donald Trump was bragging – bragging! – about grabbing women by their private parts without their consent,” he said. “It is something I can never un-hear.”

Instead, Gutierrez said he and his wife will attend the Woman’s March on Washington the next day.


Congresswoman Chellie Pingree said Monday at a dinner in Portland, Maine, that she wouldn’t attend the inauguration.

“President-elect Trump’s actions go beyond any kind of reasonable debate—they threaten the constitutional values our country is based on,” Pingree said in a statement. “I won’t dignify or normalize those threats by standing by at his ceremony.”


Anthony G. Brown, the former Lt. governor who was elected to Congress in November, he was skipping the inauguration after Trump’s tweets about Lewis.


Rep. Katherine Clark said in a statement Jan. 5 that while she respects the office Trump will take over, she believes Trump’s policies will threaten the well-being of all Americans. “After discussions with my constituents, I do not feel that I can contribute to normalization of the president-elect’s divisive rhetoric by participating in the inauguration.”


A spokesman for John Conyers told the Hill that he will not attend the inauguration. Conyers, who took office in 1965, is the longest-serving House member and a founding member of the Black Congressional Caucus.


Rep. Keith Ellison said in a tweet, “I will not celebrate a man who preaches a politics of division and hate. I won’t be attending Donald Trump’s inauguration.”


A spokesman for Rep. Lacy Clay told the St. Louis Dispatch last week that the Congressman will spend Inauguration Day back in St. Louis, speaking with school kids.

New Jersey

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12th district) will host an interfaith prayer vigil on Friday in lieu of her attendance at the Presidential inauguration ceremonies.

“The constituents of the New Jersey’s Twelfth District is a cross section of the many groups and millions of Americans that this incoming Administration has turned its back on,” Watson Coleman said in a news release. “Our nation is founded on democracy and inclusion that unfortunately our president-elect refuses to represent.”

New York

Jose E. Serrano, a Congressman representing the South Bronx, tweeted last week that he will not attend the ceremony. Since then, several more House members from New York have announced they will not go, including Jerry Nadler, Adriano Espaillat and Nydia Velazquez

Rep. Yvette Clark joined the inauguration boycott to support Lewis, tweeting “When you insult @repjohnlewis, you insult America.”


Showing solidarity with Lewis, Rep. Marcia Fudge said she would stay in Cleveland on Friday.


Two Democratic representatives, Earl Blumenauer and Kurt Schrader, told Oregon Public Radio that they will attend anti-Trump events instead of going to the inauguration in Washington, D.C.

Blumenauer, who claims to have attended every inauguration since he took office two decades ago, said this one was “not a productive use of my time.”


Citing the Affordable Care Act repeal, Russian hacking and Lewis, Rep. Dwight Evans tweeted that he would not attend the inauguration.


Pramila Jayapal said she will not attend the inauguration. She will be in Washington, D.C., for an immigration round-table that Friday and for the March on Washington Saturday.


Rep. Mark Pocan, citing Russian hacking and offensive Trump tweets, said he will not be at the ceremony.






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