One has concerns about security after the violent riot that broke out at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Another is recovering from foot surgery. One wants to work on expediting Biden’s Cabinet confirmations, and one is quarantining after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.
It’s not shaping up to be the mass boycott seen four years ago, when more than 50 House Democrats didn’t show up for the swearing-in of Donald Trump in protest of what they considered his divisive politics. For the Democrats, the coordinated decision not to attend Trump’s inauguration came in a wave of statements and tweets.
There has been no such public boycott movement among Republicans this year—and even those who have said they will not go have done so with little fanfare.
“Our nation faces many unprecedented challenges, and I look forward to finding common ground with President Biden on areas where we may agree, and vigorously—but always respectfully—opposing policies where we do not,” Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina said in a statement attributing his absence to recent surgery.
Representative Ron Wright said in a statement that he is quarantining after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.
“With that being said, I will not be attending the inauguration but I will be watching from my home in Arlington, Texas,” Wright said. “God bless the United States of America.”
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida revealed in a tweet Wednesday morning that he won’t make it to the inaugural ceremony because he has work to do on Biden’s Cabinet confirmations.
“I am in DC but will not be attending todays inauguration because I am working on addressing the remaining objections to an expedited Senate confirmation of President-Elect Biden’s nominee for Director of National Intelligence,” he wrote.
A spokesperson for Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, the controversial new congresswoman from Georgia who has vowed to push for Biden’s impeachment shortly after he takes office, told Newsweek she won’t attend because of security concerns.
House members Andy Harris of Maryland and Bob Good of Virginia will also be skipping the festivities, according to a report from NBC 4. Newsweek reached out to Harris and Good for additional comment but did not hear back before publication.
Good, Harris, Greene and Write all voted against the certification of Biden’s election on January 6, after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol and forced members into secure rooms while law enforcement tried to fend off armed rioters. Tillis and Rubio voted in favor of the certification of Biden’s election.
Biden’s inauguration festivities have been drastically scaled back because of the pandemic. Members of Congress, who traditionally attend the swearing in on the steps of the Capitol and distribute thousands of tickets to their constituents to line the National Mall, are limited to one guest apiece this year. Because of security threats following the Capitol riot, armed National Guardsmen are patrolling the Capitol grounds.
Trump also will be a no-show for Biden’s inauguration, breaking a long-standing tradition marking the transfer of presidential power. Vice President Mike Pence will attend.
Biden’s team didn’t immediately respond to Newsweek‘s request for comment on the anticipated no-shows. The president-elect is expected to give a nearly 30-minute address after he’s sworn in, focusing on unity.