Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was not in the House chambers when Donald Trump delivered the final State of the Union of his term on Tuesday night, with the Bronx congresswoman saying she refused to attend as a protest against the president’s “lawless conduct.”
The first-term congresswoman was one of a handful of Democrats to publicly shun the State of the Union, which comes just a day before the U.S. Senate is set to vote on whether to convict Trump in his impeachment trial. Trump is expected to be acquitted after a number of key Republicans said they would not vote against the president, but the upcoming vote has still cast a shadow over the final address to a joint session of Congress before the upcoming presidential election.
Ocasio-Cortez seized on the moment to announce that she would not be in attendance. Taking to Twitter ahead of the address on Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez wrote that she would “not use [her] presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution.”
She was joined by Massachusetts Democrat Ayanna Pressley, who also announced that she would not be attending the State of the Union.
“The State of the Union is hurting because of the occupant of the White House, who consistently demonstrates contempt for the American people, contempt for Congress & contempt for our constitution,” she tweeted.
“I cannot in good conscience attend tonight’s sham.”
Though she may not have a key post in the House, Ocasio-Cortez has emerged as one of the most vocal opponents to Trump and a frequent target of his ire online. The president has frequently lobbed attacks against her on Twitter and tried to paint the progressive congresswoman as the true representation and leader of Democrats in the House.
She has also been critical of many of his policies, including the recent roll-out of the Space Force. As The Inquisitr reported, she said that the newest branch of the military — which is aimed at centralizing missions and operations in space — was taking money that would be much better spent elsewhere.
“The folks writing checks for a new Space Force are the same ones asking ‘how are you going to pay for’ public college or health care,” she tweeted this weekend.
“This is the richest country in the world. Our problem isn’t a lack of money. It’s a lack of good priorities. And that is something we can change.”