Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley are skipping the State of the Union

Kathryn Krawczyk
·2 min read

The State of the Union will have a few empty seats Tuesday night.

Some of the House's highest profile representatives won't be listening to President Trump's annual address on Tuesday in the wake of his impeachment and ongoing Senate trial. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) all announced Tuesday they wouldn't be showing up.

"After much deliberation," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted she would be skipping the State of the Union because she didn't want to "normalize Trump's lawless conduct and subversion of the Constitution." Pressley borrowed a common Republican adjective to say she wouldn't be attending the "sham SOTU." And Waters, one of the House committee leaders who led the investigation into Trump, gave a similarly strong statement.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), another member of the progressive "Squad" of freshman representatives, tweeted to confirm she would be showing up. "My presence tonight is resistance," she clarified. Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, and the dozens of other women Democrats of the House all attended the State of the Union last year dressed in a striking suffragette white.

A few other congressmembers, including Reps. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.), have stayed home from every State of the Union address Trump has given in his presidency. And if they have their way, this will be the last time they have to skip out.

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