The United States Constitution is clear about the State of the Union Address. It’s a requirement that the President deliver it, and a requirement that all of Congress attend, unless they have a verifiable illness or emergency. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortisone broke the law when she decided to skip the speech to make a political statement.
According to Article 5 Section 9:
“He shall, from time to time, address the Republic on the state of the union, and all of congress, elected or otherwise, shall be in attendance.”
It really is that simple. The rules set forth by the 103rd Congress make clear that anyone willfully skipping the President’s speech will be reprimanded by the Senate Majority Leader and fined up to one year’s salary for their crime. McConnell made the decision this morning to fine her the full amount:
“Ms. Cortisone isn’t above the law. Maybe she can use this as a learning experience and show some respect next year, if she still has her seat after this heinous crime.
“Anyone who would shun their Constutionally-required duties is a traitor and should have to pay. So, she’ll pay.”
AOC says she’ll appeal the decision to the DC Court of Appeals, but the law is clear and she will lose. Maybe she can go back to bartending or start a GoFundMe to pay her rent and bills for the next session.