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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) announced Tuesday that she will be among a group of at least nine Democrats who are boycotting President Trump's State of the Union address.

Why it matters: The decision to boycott the address after attending last year reflects the cognitive dissonance felt by some Democrats about granting Trump a state ceremony after having accused him of being a threat to the Constitution and national security.

Other Democratic members of Congress who are boycotting for the first time include:

  • Rep. Al Green (D-Texas)
  • Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.)
  • Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.)
  • House Financial Services Chair Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.)
  • House Homeland Security Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.)

Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) will also skip the State of the Union for the third year in a row.

What they're saying... Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a tweet: "After much deliberation, I have decided that I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution."

  • Pressley also tweeted: "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. I cannot in good conscience attend tonight's sham [State of the Union]."
  • Green tweeted: "Because of an impeached, reckless, ruthless, lawless, shameless, corrupt, & unapologetically bigoted president - who is still engaging in a coverup, the state of the House, the state of the Senate, and the #StateOfTheUnion are divided. I will NOT attend #SOTU2020."
  • Waters tweeted: "To think that I would attend the #SOTU📷 to hear the message of an IMPEACHED president is a thought that in no way would be consistent w/ my fight and struggle against this dishonorable president. I will certainly NOT be there!"

The other side: Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib, freshmen members of "The Squad" along with Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley, tweeted that they will attend the State of the Union.

  • "I am attending on behalf of all of those targeted by this President to say, ‘We are greater than hate,’" Omar tweeted. "My presence tonight is resistance."
  • "I will be in attendance to uplift the stories and work of my guests, Carly Fraser and Danielle Atkinson," Tlaib tweeted. Both Fraser and Atkinson are health care activists.

Between the lines: Trump's address will come one night before the Senate votes to acquit him of impeachment charges.

Go deeper: What to expect from Trump's State of the Union address

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Iran rejects nuclear talks with U.S., for now

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at Iran/EU talks in 2015. Photo: Carlos Barria/POOL/AFP via Getty

A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that conditions are not ripe for informal nuclear talks between Iran, the U.S. and other world powers.

Why it matters: The Biden administration had proposed the talks as part of its efforts to negotiate a path back to the 2015 nuclear deal. The White House expressed disappointment with Iran's response, but said it remained willing to engage with Tehran.

2 hours ago - Health

U.S. sets weekend records for daily COVID vaccinations

A driver waits to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in Inglewood, California on Feb. 26. Photo: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Just over 2.4 million coronavirus vaccinations were reported to the CDC on Sunday, matching Saturday's record-high for inoculations as seen in Bloomberg's vaccine tracker.

Why it matters: Vaccinations are ramping up again after widespread delays caused by historic winter storms. Over 75 million vaccine doses have been administered thus far, with 7.5% of the population fully vaccinated and 15% having received at least one dose.

GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy: "We will lose" if we continue to idolize Trump

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday he does not believe that former President Trump will, or should, be the Republican nominee for president in 2024.

What he's saying: Cassidy pointed out that "over the last four years, [Republicans] lost the House of Representatives, the Senate and the presidency. That has not happened ... since Herbert Hoover."

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