WASHINGTON — Many of the guests invited by New Jersey's congressional delegation to the Capitol to hear President Donald Trump's State of the Union address will highlight the lawmakers' positions on the leading political issues of the day.

One lawmaker is boycotting the address.

You can watch it live above at 9 p.m.


  • U.S.  Sen. Cory Booker: Elizabeth Vilchis, of Ridgefield Park, came to the U.S. from Mexico with her parents. She currently runs the nonprofit LatinoTech, which helps Latino entrepreneurs access venture capital.
  • U.S. Rep. Donald Payne Jr: Juan Lopez, a senior at Newark's Science Park High School, mored to the United States from Uruguay when he was 2.
  • U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone: Esder Chong, a DACA recipient from Highland Park, came to the United States when she was 6 and now attends Rutgers University-Newark. “She is exactly the type of young person we should be encouraging and supporting, not deporting. New Jersey is Esder’s home and she shouldn’t live in fear because of partisanship and procrastination in Congress," Pallone said in a statement.
  • U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance invited state Sen. Michael Doherty to attend the address, which begins at 9 p.m. Doherty, an immigration hardliner, was one of the first high-profile supporters of Trump in New Jersey during the presidential campaign.

Sexual Abuse:

  • U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez: Patricia Teffenhart is executive director of the NJ Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA). Menendez said that Teffenhart will wear black in recognition of the #MeToo movement.
  • U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman: Rose Gunter, niece of Recy Taylor, who was abducted and raped in Alabama in 1944. Her assailants were not brought to justice. Coleman also said she will be wearing black in support of "marginalized women who were ignored and to ensure "the president sees the faces of the Americans he is hurting.

Tax Plan:

  • U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross: Analilia Mejia is executive director of New Jersey Working Families Alliance. In an NJ.com op-ed, the South Jersey congressman said the Republican tax plan singled out states like New Jersey to bear the cost of the tax reform plan.


  • U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer: Jimmy and Barbara Drake's son Darren, of New Milford, was killed on Halloween when a terrorist drove a rented truck down a sidewalk in Manhattan. Gottheimer said that he will introduce the Darren Drake Act to help thwart future lone-wolf attacks. The act would require that vehicle dealers and rental companies match critical information on individuals against the government’s terror watch list.

U.S. Rep. Albio Sires will join a dozen representatives in a boycott of the address. In a statement to NJ.com Sires said "many of his constituents are offended by the president's rhetoric and behavior."

White House officials say Trump will appeal for bipartisanship, though it's unclear if his rhetoric will be matched by any real overtures to Democrats. Partisanship in Washington has only deepened in the year since Trump has taken office, driven in part by the president's bitingly personal attacks on his political rivals and Democrats' disgust with his policies and behavior.

During a traditional pre-speech lunch with television anchors, Trump said, "Unity is what I'm striving for, to bring the country together."

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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