JAN. 20, 2017, 3:30 A.M.
REPORTING FROM WASHINGTON
Sarah D. Wire
(Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call)
Fifteen California members of Congress are missing from the platform for President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration today , with many saying their constituents asked them not to attend or that they couldn’t stomach celebrating an incoming president they don’t respect.
Some members are using the time to be active in their home districts.
While Trump is speaking, Rep. Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park) will be visiting with constituents at the ChapCare community health center in Pasadena, talking about the Affordable Care Act and how to save it. Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Palm Desert) will be getting ready for a veterans event Saturday.
Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk) will be at a laborers training school, while Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) will be assembling care kits for homeless people.
Some members are using the time to reflect.
Rep. Juan Vargas (D-San Diego), a former Jesuit missionary, is staying home to pray for the country and for Trump. Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Los Angeles) has asked Americans to join him in an hour of meditation during the ceremony.
“While Donald Trump is being sworn in, I think a good use of my time is to promote positivity,” Cardenas said in a statement.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Los Angeles) originally expected to watch the inauguration on television after completing his Air Force Reserve service days early in the week, but the now-colonel moved his service days around and will be working on base instead.