The Squad (United States Congress)
The Squad is a group of six Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives. It was initially composed of four women elected in the 2018 United States House of Representatives elections: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. They have since been joined by Jamaal Bowman of New York and Cori Bush of Missouri following the 2020 United States House of Representatives elections. The group is well known for being among the most progressive and left-wing members of the United States Congress. All are under the age of 50.
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- Yes, Ayanna and I both decided not to attend (Donald Trump’s State of the Union address)... Ultimately, we knew what was going to come. We knew it was going to be racist, Islamophobic, classist, you know, history-denying. I just didn’t feel like spending my evening legitimizing that or entertaining it. But again, there’s no wrong way to protest. And for me, that’s kind of how — that’s where I sat with it. But it was a struggle, because do you choose to be in that space, or do you choose not to be in that space? Either way, you’re doing it in the same spirit, and you’re doing it with the same rationale and intention.
- Well, good afternoon, everyone...I made the decision to attend (Donald Trump’s State of the Union address), one, because I represent 708,000 constituents, and I felt that it was important not to only be present on their behalf, but also to be present and visibly present on behalf of many of the marginalized identities that I represent, that are constantly being attacked by this president. I felt like being in that room, showing him that no matter how much he decides to speak about us in the most hateful ways, we are resilient, we are present, and we will not be disregarded.
- I couldn’t sit through some of it, and we ended up leaving, especially when they just went just full-out applause when they put that medal around Rush... So, it was a very difficult time, I think, for me even being there... But, yeah, I think it’s so much worse in person.
- Rashida Tlaib“Our Very Existence Is the Resistance”: An Hour w/ AOC, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib & Ilhan Omar, Democracy Now!, Febuary 10, 2020
- The occupant of this White House has contempt for the American people, for the role of Congress as a coequal branch, as checks and balance, contempt for our Constitution. And so it was a sham of a State of the Union to me. ...I already know how he feels about me and our folk... we already know the state of the union. It’s in complete chaos and disarray.
- We turn now to... a rare joint interview with the Squad. That’s the group of four freshwomen Democratic congresswomen who have taken Capitol Hill by storm: Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are the first Muslim women elected to Congress. Ilhan Omar is a former refugee from Somalia. Tlaib is the first female Palestinian-American member of Congress. Ayanna Pressley is the first African-American woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts. And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was just 29 years old when she took office last year, making her the youngest woman to serve in Congress. Born to a mother from Puerto Rico and father from the South Bronx, AOC has quickly become one of the most popular lawmakers in the country. All four members of the Squad have been active on the presidential campaign trail. Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Omar have been campaigning for Bernie Sanders. Ayanna Pressley has backed Elizabeth Warren. Last week, Congresswomen Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley boycotted President Trump’s State of the Union. Rashida Tlaib walked out during the speech. Ilhan Omar stayed, saying, quote, “My presence tonight is resistance.”