Two Democratic representatives accused the president of “defiling the Speaker’s chair” and are passing on President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address next week, but House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) is slamming them for “displaying a lack of civility and disrespect for the office of President of the United States.”
As IJR Red reported, Reps. John Lewis and Hank Johnson, both of whom represent the state of Georgia, are claiming they don’t want to attend the event on Feb. 5 to hear the president address the American people.
Johnson said, “I have a problem with defiling the speaker’s chair in the House of Representatives,” adding that he doesn’t “want to see it lowered, as is what happens when Donald Trump comes to our floor and starts talking about groups of people, particularly Latinos, and disparaging them as a people.”
The Democratic lawmaker claimed he’d “rather be somewhere else.”
Scalise destroys Democratic opposition to Trump’s address
In response, Scalise told IJR, “Now more than ever, with the crisis at our southern border and an impending government funding deadline, representatives in Congress should hear from our President about the issues that face our country that we as members must address.”
President Trump continues to stand firm on receiving border wall and border security funding, saying, “Without a wall, it doesn’t work,” while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) stance is a stark contrast as she recently said, “There’s not going to be any wall money in the legislation.”
The Republican minority whip ripped into the Democrats who aren’t attending, accusing them of being “afraid of hearing President Trump’s message about the crisis at our southern border,” adding, “but most Americans strongly support the need for border security, and they will be tuning in to hear the President’s message.”
“Democrats already played politics once with this year’s State of the Union by unnecessarily blocking President Trump from delivering it last week,” Scalise said.
During the longest shutdown in history — while Trump pushed for U.S.-Mexico border wall and border security funding and top Democrats refused to offer any such funds — Pelosi postponed the president’s State of the Union address until the government reopened.
Once Trump announced the end of the shutdown by agreeing to sign a short-term funding bill through Feb. 15, the House speaker wouldn’t agree on the previously scheduled date of Jan. 29 — so the annual speech was postponed until Feb. 5.
“They should not make the same mistake twice by displaying a lack of civility and disrespect for the office of President of the United States,” Scalise said, blasting Democrats who aren’t attending.