Suozzi set to attend Trump inauguration

Suozzi set to attend Trump inauguration
U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) aided in attaining a 16-month extension for the City of Glen Cove to launch its ferry service to Manhattan. (Photo courtesy of Tom Suozzi)

U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi said Wednesday he would be attending President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday despite 60 House Democrats saying they would be skipping the event.

Suozzi, who was elected in November to represent the 3rd Congressional district, said although he didn’t vote for Trump and disagrees “with many things he has done and said,” it was important to ensure that a “peaceful transition of power” takes place.

“This is not about Tom Suozzi and Donald Trump,” he said. “This is about the United States Congress and the President of the United States and the peaceful transition of power.”

Suozzi referenced outgoing President Barack Obama’s recent comments about preserving “certain institutions and traditions” in explaining his decision to attend Friday’s ceremony in Washington, D.C.

According to ABC News, 60 members of Congress have chosen not to attend the inauguration.

Suozzi said that every person has the right “to make their own decision” on whether or not to attend.

On Wednesday, members of Reach Out America, a Great Neck-based grassroots activists organization, sent Suozzi a letter urging him to boycott the inauguration.

The group’s members, which include Democratic National Committee member Robert Zimmerman and New York State Democratic Committee member David Bishop, cited Trump’s “unconscionable attack” on U.S. Rep. John Lewis and comparison of the nation’s intelligence community to “Nazi Germany” as reasons Suozzi should boycott the event.

“Although we recognize that President-elect Trump will legally be the president, we do not regard his conduct as legitimate,” the letter reads. “We ask you to join us in making a statement about the standards of decency and honor that we expect from a President of the United States. Do not dignify or legitimize his actions by attending the inauguration.”

After hearing of the Congressman’s decision to go, Rita Hall, Reach Out America’s President, said it was “disappointing.”

“We wanted him to join with so many people making a statement that we don’t agree with [Trump’s] behavior,” Hall said.

She added that it was not an “extreme act” to decide against attending an incoming president’s inauguration, but instead a way to voice disapproval for his actions.

Suozzi said his decision to go did not mean he would not hold Trump accountable for his words and actions.

“I disagree with many things he has done and said, and his disrespect of [U.S. Rep.] John Lewis was wholly inappropriate. However, the peaceful transition of power is what sets the United States apart from many other countries and it is bigger than Donald Trump,” Suozzi said. “I will be first in line to monitor whether Trump teamed up with the Russians. I will fight the undoing of the [Affordable Care Act] with no substitute. I will stand against the targeting of Latinos or Muslims. I will combat climate change deniers.”

“However, for me, skipping the inauguration is not the way to do it,” he added.

Hall said that while she was disappointed in the decision, Reach Out America would continue to support Suozzi as “he is very connected with our community and with us.”

She also said the group’s request to abstain from attending the inauguration was “not a criticism” but “a disagreement.”

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here