Share all sharing alternatives for: The House democratic boycotts of Donald Trump’s inauguration, explained


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Historically, Inauguration Day has actually served together an opportunity for political leaders from both next to come with each other in Washington, DC, and begin healing project wounds end a couple of drinks.

You are watching: How many congress are boycotting the inauguration

“It’s a huge party day on Capitol Hill. There space normally civilization celebrating all with the office structures — not to mention every one of the balls the are typically planned at night,” claims Ray Smock, manager of the Robert Byrd facility for Congressional history and Education, and also a former official chronicler of the residence of Representatives.

This year, there are few signs that bipartisan comity. At least 60 residence Democrats in the residence of representatives have already declared they will certainly be skipping city for Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration top top Friday, in what looks favor a clear authorize of the bitter partisan divide proceeding to split the country.

Nobody shows up to have actually kept exact numbers on how numerous members the the House have actually boycotted the inauguration, so historical comparisons are difficult. However it’s more than Smock deserve to remember from his years as home historian.

“This is an anxious and divided country,” Smock said. “Inaugurations are supposed to it is in a heal opportunity. This year, it i will not ~ be that.”

Feud with Rep. Lewis leads to wave of Dems boycotting the inauguration

So far, no democratic senator has said the or she will certainly not it is in attending. Additionally, several crucial Democratic political leaders — including the Clintons — will certainly be in attendance, according to CNN.

The story is really different among House Democrats. Back on January 5, Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark announced the she would not be at the inauguration, saying that “discussions with hundreds of my constitutions” had led she to conclude the attendance would “contribute come the normalization that the president-elect’s divisive rhetoric.”


My declare on the upcoming inauguration: pic.twitter.com/dQXE0ztvTf

— Katherine Clark (
RepKClark) January 5, 2017

On the same day, Rep. Luis Gutierrez that Illinois likewise declared he’d be boycotting the event.

"I could not look at my wife, mine daughters or my nephew in the eye if ns sat there and attended together if everything that candidate Donald Trump had actually said around women, Latinos, african Americans, Muslims … is okay or erased from my memory," Gutierrez claimed in a statement come McClatchy.

Over the next two weeks, 19 house Democrats would certainly follow Clark and Guiterrez’s leads, follow to a Politico headcount. Each had actually his or her very own reason — California Rep. Jared Huffman quote the should “do everything I can to border the damage” the a trump presidency in a facebook post, when Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva said Politico that Trump had displayed “disrespect” come too numerous Americans because that him to attend.

These home members to be boycotting the inauguration together a general protest versus Trump’s habits over the course of the campaign. Yet the activity then really acquired momentum this Sunday due to the fact that of a particular catalyst — Donald Trump’s feud with civil rights symbol John Lewis, a Georgia congress member and also hero among House Democrats.

Trump’s decision to humiliation Lewis ~ above Twitter — as “all talk” and “no action” — turned a trickle that boycotting house Democrats right into a flood. Native Sunday until Tuesday, the number of boycotting residence Democrats had an ext than doubled from 19 to 40, before increasing to 60 through Wednesday.

It’s still mainly Democrats in for sure seats

The vast majority of residence Democrats who are boycotting likewise come indigenous seats the Hillary Clinton winner comfortably, follow to numbers crunched by the everyday Kos’s Stephen Wolf. As of Tuesday, only one boycotting residence Democrat — Rep. Carol Shea-Porter of new Hampshire — additionally comes from a ar Trump won.


46 of 194 home Dems have actually said lock aren"t attending Trump"s inauguration. So much only one (#NH01"s Shea-Porter) originates from a Trump ar pic.twitter.com/aevIsqUaVC

— Stephen wolf (
PoliticsWolf) January 17, 2017

Of course, that’s no coincidence. 2 House democratic aides top top the Hill called me the their offices have actually received more than a dozen calls each from ingredient asking your representatives to skip the Inauguration.

“The perform is cultivation mostly native those representing strongly autonomous districts through a lot of world who don’t desire their representative there the day,” Smock says. “It’s no hurting them in ~ home, and also may in reality be help them.”

Additionally, at least 10 the the boycotting to represent hail from the Congressional black color Caucus. Here’s a tweet native Rep. Yvette Clark, whose district includes a vast swath of Brooklyn:


I will certainly NOT attend the inauguration of
realDonaldTrump. When you humiliation
repjohnlewis, you humiliation America.

— Yvette D. Clarke (
RepYvetteClarke) January 14, 2017

Clarke’s announcement was soon adhered to by the Michigan Rep. John Conyers, 77, among the longest-serving black color lawmakers in the House.

"President-elect Trump, you have actually the undeniable appropriate to take it issue and also disagree with John Lewis" opinion about the legitimacy the the election results," claimed Maryland Rep. Anthony Brown, that represents the suburbs north of Washington, DC, on on facebook Monday, according to ABC. "But Mr. Trump, you have to think carefully around disparaging a civil rights icon such as john Lewis, let alone anyone exercising their flexibility of expression that numerous of us fought for."

This has actually left Senate democracy in a challenging position

Trump’s fight through Lewis — and the succeeding declarations to boycott from residence Democrats — has put Senate democrats in other of one awkward spot between praising Lewis and also saying castle still desire to to visit the inauguration.

“Senator Brown will attend the inauguration,” Jennifer Donohue, a spokeswoman because that the Ohio Democrat, told Politico. “While he strong condemns President-elect Trump"s disparaging comments toward civil rights hero Congressman john Lewis, he desires to be there as a reminder that he will certainly oppose initiatives to roll ago civil rights, progressive the eligibility period for Medicare, push Ohio students right into for-profit charter schools, and also privatize veterans" health care.”

Similarly, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has both promised to walk to the Inauguration and also defended Lewis from Trump’s attacks.

‘‘What ns agree through is that man Lewis is a man who has earned the ideal to have actually his view of Donald Trump’s presidency and also legitimacy,’’ she said.

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So there will certainly be some sign of bipartisanship on Washington, DC, come Friday. And, as Smock says, things have been worse. In 1861, he notes, over there was certainly a more dramatic boycott the Abraham Lincoln’s Inaugural — 7 southern claims had already declared war versus the Union.


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