Congressional Democrats are using their guest lists for the State of the Union address on Tuesday to score political points versus President Trump on migration, the government shutdown and more.
While Trump has actually stated he plans to provide a message of unity on Tuesday night and find commonalities with Democratic legislators, lots of on the other side of the aisle aren’t buying his plea for bipartisanship. With Democrats fuming over Trump’s push for a border wall in the middle of a still-unresolved financing standoff, those guest lists signal the president could deal with a tough crowd.
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In the most recent example, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., stated on Monday she’ll bring an activist who made headlines opposing against now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
Archila notoriously cornered then-Sen. Jeff Flake in a Senate elevator and pleaded for the Republican legislator to reconsider ballot for Kavanaugh, who was implicated by Christine Blasey Ford of sexual attack. Flake concurred to delay a committee vote to allow for a quick investigation, prior to eventually supporting Kavanaugh– who rejected the accusations.
Archila stated she is “honored” to be the guest of the freshman Democrat and will sit in the gallery ignoring the chamber throughout Trump’s address. She stated she will wear white and a pin the congresswoman provided her that says, “Well acted women seldom make history.”
While Ocasio-Cortez has actually picked to highlight the debate surrounding Kavanaugh with her visitor, other Democrats have invited guests directly impacted by the continuous immigration debate and the current partial federal government shutdown.
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D- N.J., invited Victorina Morales, a Guatemalan lady living in the U.S. illegally who apparently was fired from the Trump National Golf Club.
Morales has actually spoken out about the Trump Company’s employing practices. The Trump Company stated last week that it will use the E-Verify electronic system at all its homes to examine employees’ documentation.
Sandra Diaz, a local of Costa Rica who operated at Trump’s club from 2010 to 2013, likewise will be attending the State of the Union as a visitor of Democratic Rep. Jimmy Gomez of California.
Diaz was also employed without legal papers. She is now a legal permanent U.S. citizen and stated she decided to speak up due to the fact that she is angry about the president describing some immigrants as violent.
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Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., welcomed a mother and daughter from Guatemala who were denied asylum in the U.S. and became separated for 2 months last spring after they were caught unlawfully crossing the southern border.
” This kid separation policy came from a dark and evil location within the heart of this administration,” Merkley said, according to regional Oregon media. “Innocent kids suffered because of deeds that were carried out in our names and using our tax dollars as Americans. I’m bringing Albertina and Yakelin as my guests to the State of the Union due to the fact that we need to attest to the suffering that this harsh policy inflicted, and resolve to make certain that nothing like this ever takes place in the United States of America once again.”
Other Democratic lawmakers have actually welcomed visitors who were straight impacted by the federal government shutdown.
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., who is running for president in 2020, invited Trisha Pesiri-Dybvik, an air traffic controller who lost her house in the 2017 Thomas fire in Southern California and was among the 800,000 federal workers who missed out on paychecks throughout the shutdown.
” Trisha Pesiri-Dybvik was among the more than 800,000 federal employees whose incomes were kept during the shutdown– and it happened while her family was still recovering from losing their house in the Thomas Fire,” Harris composed on Twitter. “I’m honored she will join me at the State of the Union.”
Late Monday, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) stated 11 other members had actually been welcomed to the State of the Union by numerous Democratic legislators, consisting of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, Minority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois and Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia.
” These invites are a testament to the regard that our members and our professions have made on Capitol Hill and across the nation,” NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said in a declaration.” … Regardless of personal difficulty and tension, uncertainty and fatigue, over 15,000 NATCA members went to work [during the partial government shutdown], did their jobs at the greatest level, and continued to show to America that they are practiced security professionals … We are deeply grateful for this experience and chance.”
Still another Democratic senator, Chris Murphy of Connecticut, has welcomed Regina Moller, the executive director of Noank Neighborhood Support Provider. The nonprofit organization, which was affected by the federal government shutdown, uses shelters to unaccompanied minors separated from their households at the U.S. southern border with Mexico.
Democrats have likewise invited visitors impacted by weapon violence, high drug and insurance coverage expenses and the Trump administration’s modifications to rules on transgender people in the military.
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Democrats, nevertheless, do not have a monopoly on utilizing the State of the Union guest list to make a political point.
Republicans are bringing guests varying from survivors of sexual slavery in the Middle East to survivors of the opioid epidemic and Border Patrol representatives.
Rep. Costs Johnson, R-Ohio, welcomed a policeman who accidentally overdosed on the synthetic opioid Fentanyl after the powder wound up on his t-shirt following a drug arrest, while Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., is bringing Nobel Peace Reward winner Nadia Murad, a Yazidi human rights activist and sexual slavery survivor under ISIS.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, welcomed the sector chief for the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Manny Padilla to be his guest.
Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., likewise invited Art Gallegos, the co-founder of the Latinos Conservative Organization, to the State of the Union in an effort to emphasize the requirement for border security.
Fox News’ The Associated Press contributed to this report.