Home » international news » The number of House Democrats boycotting Trump's inauguration just keeps increasing

The number of House Democrats boycotting Trump's inauguration just keeps increasing

Sahil Bhalla | Updated on: 17 January 2017, 15:41 IST

President-elect Donald Trump\'s inauguration is happening on Friday, 20 January, whether you like it or not. What\'s not certain is just how many House Democrats will be boycotting the event taking place in Washington D.C., the national capital of the United States of America.

By Tuesday, the number stood at 44, up from Monday\'s 26 Democratic lawmakers boycotting the inauguration. They have pointed towards the President-elect\'s weekend spat with civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis. This, coupled with Russia\'s interference in the US Elections, and you have pretty compelling reasons not to show up.

Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis, in an interview on Sunday with NBC News, dismissed Trump, saying, "I don\'t see this president-elect as a legitimate president". He announced that he wouldn\'t take part in the inauguration, a first for him since he was elected to Congress. "I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. It\'s going to be very hard, very difficult for me" to work with Trump.

True to form, Trump unleashed an attack on Twitter. Take a look:

Almost immediately, many elected officials had John Lewis' back, saying they too would boycott the Trump inauguration. Here's just one example:

So far, this is the full list of those who have said they are boycotting the 'mega' event:

John Lewis, Representative, Georgia

"You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong," Lewis told NBC News.

Luis Gutiérrez, Democrat, Illinois

Gutiérrez announced back in December that he would be boycotting the event. Instead, he will be a part of the Women's March that is scheduled for 21 January.

José Serrano, Democrat, New York

José Serrano, representing the Bronx, announced his decision via Twitter. "Cannot celebrate the inauguration of a man who has no regard for my constituents," Serrano said.

Raul Grijalva, Democrat, Arizona

"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 the actions we are taking in this Congress," Raul Grijalva said on the House Floor.

William Lacy Clay, Democrat, Missouri

William Clay announced on 13 January that instead of attending the inauguration, he will be spending the day speaking with school children in his district.

Nydia Velazquez, Democrat, New York

Another one joining the Women's March instead of attending the inauguration.

Peter DeFazio, Democrat, Oregon

Peter DeFazio's reason is not Trump being elected. DeFazio doesn't like "pomp and circumstance events in Washington".

Adriano Espaillat, Democrat, New York

"Donald Trump and the hate-filled rhetoric that plagued his election simply will continue in his administration," Ardriano Espaillat, the first formerly undocumented immigrant to be elected to Congress, said on his Facebook page.

Earl Blumenauer, Democrat, Oregon

For the first time in two decades, Earl Blumenauer won't be attending an inauguration. He will instead participate in events critical of President-Elect Trump. "Here is a person who ran a campaign that is the antithesis of everything I've worked for in public service," said Blumenauer. He added that the inauguration wasn't a productive use of his time.

Barbara Lee, Democrat, California

In a press release published on 12 January, Barbara Lee said she won't attend the inauguration. "I will not be celebrating or honoring an incoming president who rode racism, sexism, xenophobia and bigotry to the White House." She then added, "on Inauguration Day, I will not be celebrating. I will be organizing and preparing for resistance".

Kurt Schrader, Democrat, Oregon

Kurt Schrader jokingly said, "I respectfully decline to freeze my ass out there in the cold for this particular ceremony." He's up for collaborating with Trump when the man is making the right decisions but not otherwise. The weather, for those wondering, is expected to be a balmy 52 degrees farenheit.

Katherine Clark, Democrat, Massachusetts

Katherine Clark made her decision publically known on 5 January. "After discussions with hundreds of my constituents," said Clark, "I do not feel that I can contribute to the normalization of the president-elect's divisive rhetoric by participating in the inauguration."

John Conyers, Democrat, Michigan

News of John Conyers' boycott of the inauguration comes via a CNN report.

Jared Huffman, Democrat, California

Another Facebook post. Another boycott. "I'll be spending Inauguration Day here in my district doing positive things. I invite you to join me. I will announce my specific plans and agenda in a few days, including some volunteer activities that you can participate in if you wish. Stay tuned for the details, and thanks for reading all the way to the end of this long Facebook post"

Maxine Waters, Democrat, California

While Huffman chose to communite via Facebook, Maxine Waters didn't feel the need for more than 140 characters.

Mark deSaulnier, Democrat, California

Another tweet. This time though, it's a video message. Listen in:

Ted Lieu, Democrat, California

Ted Lieu from California made his decision clearly known on 14 January. This time via a press release.

"Can a man such as Trump have a good idea? The answer is yes. And if the next Administration has a good policy, such as withdrawing from the flawed Trans-Pacific Partnership, I will support it. But if Trump has unconstitutional or bad ideas, such as creating a registry based on religion or gutting Social Security and Medicare, I will oppose them.

"I can only hope that Trump will govern differently than he has campaigned. For me, the personal decision not to attend Inauguration is quite simple: Do I stand with Donald Trump, or do I stand with John Lewis? I am standing with John Lewis."

Yvette Clarke, Democrat, New York

Another one in solidarity with John Lewis.

Mark Takano, Democrat, California

Here's another video message posted on Twitter from 14 January. "All talk, no action".

Lucille Roybal-Allard, Representative, California

"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," Roybal-Allard said in a statement Sunday.

Judy Chu, Representative, California

"After much thought, I have decided to #StandWithJohnLewis and not attend the inauguration," Chu tweeted over the weekend.

Luis Gutierrez, Representative, Illinois

"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," Gutierrez said last month during CNN's "New Day".

Pramila Jayapal, Representative, Washington

#ImWithJohn. Pramila Jayapal made it pretty clear over this tweet

Mark Pocan, Representative, Wisconsin

Here's Mark Pocan's statement courtesy of Twitter.

Marcia Fudge, Representative, Ohio

Another one saying #IStandWithJohnLewis

Jerry Nadler, Representative, New York

Jerry Nadler is conviced Trump is with Putin, so he chooses to stay away.

Many more are expected to join in during the run-up to the inauguration. The number, as it stands, is unprecedented.

Karen Bass, Democrat, California

Representative Karen Bass' spokesperson confirmed her decision in an email. She took to Twitter to ask her constituents about whether or not she should attend.

Don Beyer, Representative, Virginia

Here's a Congressman taking to Twitter with a slightly longer message than usual.

Brendan Boyle, Democrat, Pennsylvania

Here's Pennsylvania Democrat taking to Facebook.

Anthony Brown, Democrat, Maryland

"I respect the office, can't tolerate disrespect."

Steve Cohen, Democrat, Tennessee

During Martin Luther King, Steve Cohen made his decision known publically.

Keith Ellison, Democrat, Minnesota

We will not celebrate a man who "preaches a politics of division and hate".

Dwight Evans, Democrat, Pennsylvania

Another one standing with John Lewis.

Zoe Lofgren, Democrat, California

Zoe Lofgren told the Los Angeles Times, "I acknowledge the fact that he is the incoming president, but I'm not in the mood to celebrate that fact,"

Jerry McNerney, Democrat, California

Confirmation of Jerry McNereney's boycott comes from the Los Angeles Times.

Jerrold Nadler, Democrat, New York
Grace Napolitano, Democrat, California

Another confirmation as per the Los Angeles Times.

Chellie Pingree, Democrat, Maine

At a dinner in Portland on MLK day, Pingree made the announcement.

Raul Ruiz, Democrat, California

"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."

Adam Smith, Democrat, Washington

A representative for Adam Smith had this to say in a statement to Seattle NBC affiliate KING 5 News, "As the House of Representatives is not in session the week of Inauguration, Congressman Smith will spend the District Work Period at home in Washington state meeting with his constituents".

Darren Soto, Democrat, Florida

Soto told Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV Channel 9 that he is "deeply disappointed with Trump's attacks against civil rights hero John Lewis and will not be attending the inauguration as a result".

Bonnie Watson Coleman, Democrat, New Jersey

You can join her for an interfaith Prayer Vigil instead.

Frederica S. Wilson, Democrat, Florida

Yes, she has a wedding to attend.

John Yarmuth, Democrat, Kentucky

This news is courtesy the Washington Post: "For the last ten weeks, President-elect Trump has continually denigrated the office of the President by using his bully pulpit for insult and ridicule," Yarmuth said in a statement. "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".

First published: 17 January 2017, 15:41 IST
Sahil Bhalla @IMSahilBhalla

Sahil is a correspondent at Catch. A gadget freak, he loves offering free tech support to family and friends. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College, New York and worked previously for Scroll. He selectively boycotts fast food chains, worries about Arsenal, and travels whenever and wherever he can. Sahil is an unapologetic foodie and a film aficionado.