Washington: Indian-American Congresswoman from Seattle, Pramila Jayapal, has announced that she won’t attend Donald Trump’s inauguration this week, saying the President-elect’s “language and actions” undermine America’s democracy and its history.
“I did not undertake the decision lightly,” Jayapal said in a statement yesterday.
So far two dozen US lawmakers have announced that they are boycotting Trump’s inauguration.
“I had hoped in the days following the election that we would see a President-elect who broke from his campaign rhetoric and worked to unite the American people. Instead, we have seen this President-elect continue to use language and take actions that demean our history and our heroes, and undermine our democracy,” she said.
The only lawmaker to oppose Trump’s presidential victory confirmation during the joint session of the Congress early this month, Jayapal alleged that his Cabinet appointments underscore the grave threat to the country that his presidency represents.
“Appointments of people such as Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions and Andrew Pudzer threaten the very fabric of our country and the institutions that these men and women will lead. The continued promises to create a Muslim registry, to repeal DACA, deport millions of undocumented immigrants, and punish women for abortions, fly in the face of our 7th District values,” she said.
Instead of being in Washington DC attending the swearing-in ceremony of Donald Trump, Jayapal said she would be with her constituents attending a seminar on immigration.
“My decision to be here in the district with my constituents who are truly terrified that they will no longer have a home in this city and country was not, at the time, a boycott of the inauguration…I believe my first responsibility is to listen to my constituents and to be with them, through the darkest of times,” she said.
“If I had any doubts about my decision, however, my resolve has only strengthened in the past few days as I watched Donald Trump’s response to one of our country’s great civil rights icons and a personal hero of mine, Congressman John Lewis. With Donald Trump’s tweet, he himself has inflamed the situation and now two dozen of my colleagues will also not be attending the inauguration. It has become a boycott,” she said.
Jayapal said she does understands that she and others are breaking from long-standing tradition of bipartisan attendance at the Presidential inauguration. However, these are not normal times and one cannot pretend it is so, she argued.
“If we are worried about breaking from long-standing tradition, let us focus on the fact that when this President is sworn in on January 20, he will be in violation of the Constitution, the very document that he will swear to protect and defend. His disregard for the conflicts of interest he brings into this office, and his refusal to address those conflicts are the break from tradition on which we should focus,” Jayapal said.