Mass. reps, senators plan to attend inauguration

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Recorder Staff
Published: 1/18/2017 11:36:35 PM

Both congressmen representing Franklin County, along with both U.S. senators from Massachusetts, say they plan to attend Friday’s presidential inauguration, despite a boycott by about 60 House Democrats.

Reps. Jim McGovern, D-Worcester, and Richard Neal, D-Springfield, said they plan to attend, even though Rep. Katherine M. Clark, D-Melrose, and scores of other House Democrats say they plan to stay away from the swearing in of Donald Trump as the 45th president.

Despite calls from constituents questioning whether they plan to join in a decision by some Democrats objecting to President-Elect Donald Trump’s combative style, McGovern, in a written statement, said, “I’ve attended every presidential inauguration since I was elected to Congress. On January 20th I will be attending the inauguration. On January 21st, I will join Americans from Massachusetts and across the country at the Women’s March in Washington to stand up for the values we believe in and the protection of the rights and dignity of all Americans.”

William Tranghese, a spokesperson for Neal, said Wednesday, “Congressman Neal greatly respects the institution of the presidency and the peaceful and orderly transition of power. As a result, he will be attending the inaugural ceremonies at the U.S. Capitol Building this Friday. He has been present for the execution of the swearing-in ceremonies of every president, both Democrat and Republican, since he was elected to Congress.”

The Washington Post has reported that nearly 60 Democratic House members — nearly a third of the minority party’s entire delegation — plan to stay away in solidarity with Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, who said he plans to stay home because he believes Trump will not be a “legitimate president” in part because of Russian interference in the election campaign.

Former U.S. labor secretary and Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Robert Reich, a sharp critic of Trump, has publicly urged a Democratic boycott of Friday’s ceremonies, saying “attending Trump’s inauguration gives tacit support and approval to someone who poses a clear and present danger to our democracy.”

No U.S. senators have said they plan to skip the inauguration, and spokesmen for Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey confirmed that they plan to attend.

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