WHIP LIST: Dems boycotting Trump’s State of the Union

WHIP LIST: Dems boycotting Trump’s State of the Union
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A growing number of Democrats are boycotting Tuesday’s State of the Union address, underscoring the depth of disdain the Democratic lawmakers hold for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ MORE.

Only two Democrats — Reps. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersPrivate insurance plays a critical part in home mortgage ecosystem On The Money: Lawmakers closing in on border deal | Dems build case for Trump tax returns | Trump, Xi won't meet before trade deadline | Waters in talks with Mnuchin for testimony Waters in talks with Mnuchin for testimony on lifting of sanctions on Russian firms MORE (Calif.) and Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine - Next 24 hours critical for stalled funding talks Democrat vows to move forward with impeachment, dividing his party Citing Virginia race scandals, Dem vows vote to impeach Trump MORE (Texas) — skipped Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress last year, though more than 60 Democrats boycotted Trump’s inauguration.

This year, boycotts appear to be spiking.

Here’s a running tally of those skipping the address:

Rep. Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerDems ready aggressive response to Trump emergency order, as GOP splinters Businesses need bank accounts — marijuana shops included Dem senator introduces S. 420 bill that would legalize marijuana MORE (Ore.)

Blumenauer was the first Democrat to announce he would boycott this year’s State of the Union. 

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“Rather than listening to yet another destructive and divisive speech by Trump, I will not attend this year’s annual address to Congress,” Blumenauer said in a statement on Jan. 5. 

“Instead, like I did during Trump’s Inauguration, I will be working here at home listening to Oregonians about what they think about the State of the Union.”

Rep. Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenDems ready aggressive response to Trump emergency order, as GOP splinters Democrat vows to move forward with impeachment, dividing his party Five takeaways from acting AG's fiery House hearing MORE (D-Tenn.)

Cohen's distaste for Trump is well established: he introduced articles of impeachment against Trump in November. Instead of attending the State of the Union, Cohen will fly back to his Memphis-area district and watch the official Democratic response from Rep. Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedyJoe Kennedy introduces resolution rejecting Trump’s transgender military ban Warren launches White House bid with call for 'structural change' Joe Kennedy to endorse Warren during campaign announcement MORE (D-Mass.).

"The President is unworthy of the podium, the position and the power," Cohen said in a statement announcing his boycott.

Rep. Danny K. Davis (Ill.)

Davis, another Black Caucus member, will not be attending the State of the Union either. 

“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,” Davis said, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Rep. Al Green (Texas)

Green has twice forced votes on articles of impeachment against Trump. Like Waters, he also boycotted Trump's address last year.

"[A]s a matter of principle and conviction, I will boycott the State of the Union to send a message of disapproval to an unfit president," Green said, according to the Houston Chronicle

Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Push for cosponsors for new 'Medicare for all' bill | Court lets Dems defend ObamaCare | Flu season not as severe as last year, CDC says Democrats seek cosponsors for new 'Medicare for all' bill Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Utah tests Trump on Medicaid expansion | Dems roll out Medicare buy-in proposal | Medicare for all could get hearing next month | Doctors group faces political risks on guns MORE (Wash.)

Jayapal plans to spend time with liberal activists instead of attending the State of the Union.

“My refusal to attend the State of the Union, then, is not about policy differences — of which I have many. I would attend a State of the Union by a president with whom I disagree if I felt she or he was otherwise respectful and adhered to basic moral values or basic tenets of civility and respect,” Jayapal wrote in a Medium post.

Rep. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeKamala Harris: 'I am not a democratic socialist' The 10 Dems most likely to win the 2020 presidential nomination Kamala Harris shopping trip stirs Twitter campaign trail debate MORE (Calif.)

Lee said that she has attended every State of the Union address since she won election to the House in 1998. But this year, she said that she won’t go because Trump “has not honored nor respected the office of the presidency.”

“Instead of listening to President Trump manufacture accomplishments, attack his political enemies and intentionally mislead the American people, I will join principled activists to strategize the next phase of resistance and our vision to move America forward,” Lee said in a statement.

Rep. John LewisJohn LewisDems want info from IRS about new tax forms On The Money: Smaller tax refunds put GOP on defensive | Dems question IRS on new tax forms | Warren rolls out universal child care proposal | Illinois governor signs bill for minimum wage The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears MORE (Ga.)

Lewis, the civil rights icon, said he didn’t want to be in the same room as Trump following his remarks during a private meeting with lawmakers on immigration policy describing Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as “shithole countries.” 

“I cannot in all good conscience be in a room with what he has said about so many Americans. I just cannot do it. I wouldn't be honest with myself,” Lewis told MSNBC’s Katy Tur. 

Lewis also boycotted Trump’s inauguration last year. The spat began when Trump said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he did not view Trump as a “legitimate president.” Trump then tweeted that Lewis “should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart,” and described him as “all talk, talk, talk — no action or results. Sad!”

Trump drew bipartisan criticism for failing to acknowledge how Lewis was arrested numerous times during the civil rights movement and was beaten by police officers while marching in Selma, Ala., in 1965.

Rep. Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon MeeksProtesters interrupt Elliott Abrams during Venezuela hearing Dem behind impeachment push to boycott State of the Union Democrats seek to take on Trump at State of the Union MORE (N.Y.)

Meeks is joining other Black Caucus members who were outraged over Trump’s disparaging remarks about certain nations earlier this month. He’ll instead watch the speech from his office. 

“I cannot give this man, who does not respect me, the respect to be in that audience,” Meeks told MSNBC’s “Politics Nation.” “I will not be there.”

Rep. Bobby RushBobby Lee RushDem behind impeachment push to boycott State of the Union Democrats seek to take on Trump at State of the Union Dem leaders avert censure vote against Steve King MORE (Ill.)

Rush, a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus, didn’t mince words while announcing his plans to skip Trump’s address.

“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,” Rush said in a statement.

Rep. Jan SchakowskyJanice (Jan) Danoff SchakowskyOvernight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Trump, Dems open drug price talks | FDA warns against infusing young people's blood | Facebook under scrutiny over health data | Harris says Medicare for all isn't socialism Hillicon Valley: Kremlin seeks more control over Russian internet | Huawei CEO denies links to Chinese government | Facebook accused of exposing health data | Harris calls for paper ballots | Twitter updates ad rules ahead of EU election Patients, health data experts accuse Facebook of exposing personal info MORE (Ill.)

Schakowsky said she will boycott the State of the Union because she refuses “to normalize President Donald Trump and his loathsome language and actions.”

She represents a Chicago-area district where Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders campaign reports raising M in less than a day The Memo: Bernie Sanders’s WH launch sharpens ‘socialist’ question Roger Stone invokes gag order in new fundraiser MORE won 70 percent of the vote, making it no surprise that Schakowsky would note that her constituents have “asked me to resist and they’ve asked me to boycott.” 

Rep. Albio SiresAlbio B. SiresDemocrats seek to take on Trump at State of the Union Hispanic Dems announce task forces for 116th Congress The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Amazon picks NYC, Northern Virginia for new offices | CNN suing Trump over Acosta press pass | Pelosi machine lobbies for Speakership MORE (N.J.) 

Sires, a Cuban immigrant, is skipping the event after condemning Trump’s “shithole” comments earlier this month. 

“The congressman is not attending the State of the Union because many of his constituents are offended by the president's rhetoric and behavior,” a Sires spokeswoman told NJ.com

 
Vargas wrote on Twitter that Trump “continues to disrespect women, insult people of color, and attack our immigrant communities.” 
 
“I will not be attending the State of the Union—I stand in solidarity with all the people he has and continues to disrespect,” Vargas said.

Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.)

Waters skipped last year’s speech and won’t be coming this year either. The California Democrat’s profile has skyrocketed in the last year for her withering criticism of Trump, earning her the nickname “Auntie Maxine” from fans.

Waters does, however, plan to respond to Trump’s address during a BET network special. 

Rep. Frederica WilsonFrederica Patricia WilsonDem behind impeachment push to boycott State of the Union Democrats seek to take on Trump at State of the Union Booker reaches out to lawmakers to seek support for 2020 bid MORE (Fla.)

Trump targeted Wilson last year after she criticized his handling of a call to the widow of a fallen solider, deeming her “wacky” on Twitter.

Wilson, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said Monday that she won’t attend the State of the Union because of his behavior toward black people.

“To go would be to honor the president and I don't think he deserves to be honored at this time after being so hateful towards black people and then black countries, Haiti and the whole continent of Africa,” Wilson said during an interview on CNN.