Four out of Pennsylvania’s five Democratic congressmen have declared they’re sitting out President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.
They join a growing contingent of more than 50 Democrats opting out of Trump’s ceremony.
One after another this week, Brendan Boyle, Dwight Evans and Bob Brady of Philadelphia, and Mike Doyle of Pittsburgh variously expressed opposition to Trump’s rhetoric and policies, and support for Georgia Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis.
Lewis prominently tangled with Trump over his own inauguration boycott.
Evans, a newly-elected congressman and former longtime state lawmaker, says aside from the Lewis scuffle, his biggest concerns are Trump’s work to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and his alleged ties to Russia.
“The very same oath [Trump is] taking, I took on January the third and November the 14th,” Evans said. “I have an obligation to the people to speak to things that I don’t think are going in the right direction.”
He added, “there’s nothing that I could be celebrating being in Washington D.C., when I feel that his agenda is not the agenda of the people who I represent.”
In a statement, Boyle noted that he doesn’t contest Trump’s legitimacy as president.
“In America,” he said, “it is the people who decide. I accept the decision of the people. I respect it. But I will not celebrate it.”
The commonwealth’s only House Democrat still planning on attending the inauguration is Matthew Cartwright.
The Scranton-area lawmaker is also the state’s sole Democratic congressman who doesn’t represent a major city.