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In State Of The Union Response, Pressley Blasts Trump's Policies As 'Short-Sighted,' 'Bigoted'

Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., speaks as a surrogate of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., during a campaign event, Jan. 31, 2020, in Ames, Iowa. (Matt Rourke/AP)
Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., speaks as a surrogate of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., during a campaign event, Jan. 31, 2020, in Ames, Iowa. (Matt Rourke/AP)

Rep. Ayanna Pressley skipped Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, but delivered the Working Families Party response to the speech, calling President Trump’s policies “short-sighted” and “bigoted.”

Pressley criticized Trump’s approaches to immigration, housing and civil rights, saying that they negatively affect families in her congressional district and across the country.

“Tonight, I want to remind Donald J. Trump that I see right through him,” Pressley said. “The American people see right through him. Tonight, we reject short-sighted policies that work for the wealthy and powerful few but leave the worker and the immigrant behind.”

Pressley criticized Senate Republicans for their support of Trump, who will likely be acquitted of impeachment charges Wednesday, but urged voters to reject him at the polls.

“The good news is that, in our democracy, we still have the power,” Pressley said. “The power to stand up and evict that man in the Oval Office come November. The power to take back the Senate. The power to build on our diverse majority in the House. The power to elect transformative leaders up and down the ballot.”

Pressley announced earlier in the day that she would boycott Trump’s address, calling the event “a sham.”

“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, and contempt for our Constitution — strong-arming a sham impeachment trial in the Senate,” Pressley said in a statement announcing her decision not to attend. “This presidency is not legitimate.”

The Senate is set to vote Wednesday on two articles of impeachment against Trump in the final day of the impeachment trial. But after a motion to call witnesses was defeated in the Senate last week, the body is expected to vote to acquit Trump.

“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, and contempt for our Constitution."

Rep. Ayanna Pressley

Pressley, one of the first members of the state's delegation to publicly support impeachment, cited it as one of the reasons she would skip Trump's annual speech before the joint session of Congress Tuesday night.

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Kimberly Atkins Twitter Senior News Correspondent
Kimberly Atkins is a senior news correspondent for WBUR, covering national political news from Washington, D.C., with a New England focus.

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