Dems to bring special guests to make statement at State of the Union address

BY TRACY MATHESON / JANUARY 11, 2018 /

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In an attempt to raise awareness of the issue of sexual assault, some House Democrats are planning to invite survivors of sexual assault as their guests to President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address on January 30.

“Some members will be bringing survivors of sexual assault and advocates as their guests,” an aide to Rep. Lois Frankel, D.-Fla., who asked to remain anonymous, told NBC News.

The report follows a Tuesday announcement by Rep. Jackie Speier, D.-Calif., that she and other female House members are inviting other lawmakers join them in wearing black to Trump’s State of the Union to display solidarity with the anti-sexual harassment “Me Too” and “Time’s Up” movements.

“This is a culture change that is sweeping the country and Congress is embracing it,” Speier told The Hill in a statement.

Speier said the Democratic Women’s Working Group, which includes all of the Democratic female House members, was inviting Democrat and Republican lawmakers to wear black to the event, and that support is very high.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat, announced last week that he would boycott Trump’s State of the Union address.

“Rather than listening to yet another destructive and divisive speech by Trump, I will not attend this year’s annual address to Congress,” Blumenauer said in a statement. “Instead, like I did during Trump’s Inauguration, I will be working here at home listening to Oregonians about what they think about the State of the Union.