The debate over a Democratic resolution to condemn
‘I stand by my statement. I’m proud of the attention being called to it because what the president said was completely inappropriate,’ Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol as the House voted whether or not to strike her remarks from the record.
Pelosi took to the House floor Tuesday afternoon to criticize the president for repeatedly criticizing the ‘squad’ – four of young, Democratic, progressive lawmakers.
‘How shameful to hear him continue to defend those offensive words, words that we have all heard and repeated about not only our members, but countless others. Our caucus will continue to respond to the attacks on our members which reflect a fundamental disrespect for the beautiful diversity of America. There’s no place anywhere for the president’s words which are not only divisive but dangerous,’ she said.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the president a ‘racist’ on the House floor
Republican Rep. Doug Jones objected to Pelosi’s words
‘There’s no response to those words except a swift condemnation,’ she added.
After she finished speaking, Republican Representative Doug Collins – a Trump ally – asked for her words to be stricken from the official Congressional Record for violating House procedure, which forbids maligning of the president on the House floor.
The House rules specifically say ‘remarks may not refer to the president’ as a ‘racist’ or as ‘having made a bigoted or racist statement,’ according to Jefferson’s Manual, a policy book written by Thomas Jefferson to be used by the Senate but was also adopted for use in the House.
Pelosi said of the president in her remarks: ‘These comments from the White House are disgraceful and disgusting and these comments are racist.’
Collins stepped in after she spoke.
‘I was just going to give the gentle Speaker of the House if she would like to rephrase that comment,’ he said.
‘I have cleared my remarks with the parliamentarian before I read them,’ she snapped back and left the House floor.
Some lawmakers are heard cheering her in the background.
The House temporary went into recess to debate its next move. The parliamentarian is expected to rule on the objection.
If Pelosi’s words are ruled in violation of House rules, she could be forbidden from speaking on the House floor for the rest of the day.
‘A Member whose words have been ruled out of order may not speak again on the same day without the House’s permission, but the Member can vote,’ according to the House rules.
The kerfuffle resulted in House GOP leadership canceling their meeting at the White House on immigration reform as they dealt with Pelosi’s words.
House Republican leaders Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and Liz Cheney were huddled with other GOP lawmakers on the floor to debate the next steps.
In an unprecedented move, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, who was presiding over the House, banged the gavel down, declared ‘I abandon the chair,’ and stormed off.
‘We don’t ever, ever want to pass up, it seems, an opportunity to escalate, and that’s what this is,’ he said.
‘We just want to fight. I abandon the chair,’ Cleaver announced and stormed off.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer took the chair to rule Pelosi’s words out of order.
‘Characterizing an action as racist is not in order,’ Hoyer said as he announced the parliamentarian’s ruling on the matter.
In an unprecedented move, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, who was presiding over the floor, dropped his gavel and announced ‘I abandon the chair’
President Trump argues he is not a racist
The House is voting whether to strike Pelosi’s words from the record.
After that vote, the House will vote on allowing Pelosi permission to speak on the House floor for the rest of the day – a vote that is expected to pass given the Democratic majority.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy claimed victory on Twitter.
‘BREAKING NEWS —> Speaker Pelosi just broke the rules of the House, and is no longer permitted to speak on the floor of the House for the rest of the day,’ he tweeted.
The four-page resolution from House Democrats charges the president with having ‘legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.’
The resolution ‘strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should ”go back” to other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as ”invaders,” and by saying that Members of Congress who are immigrants (or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants) do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America.’
The measure features positive statements from the country’s founding fathers and past presidents on the important role immigrants play in the United States.
The title of the resolution is ‘Condemning President Trump’s racist comments directed at members of Congress.’
Pelosi rallied her troops ahead of the vote and called the ‘squad’ her ‘sisters.’
The members of the squad: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley
‘These are our sisters. The fact is, as offended as we are, and we are offended by what he said about our sisters. He says that about people every day and they feel as hurt as we do about somebody in our family having this offence against them,’ she told Democrats at their weekly meeting in the Capitol, according to an aide in the room.
‘This is, I hope, one where we will get Republican support. If they can’t support condemning the words of the President, well that’s a message in and of itself,’ she added.
But the House Republican leadership urged its lawmakers to vote no on the resolution.
‘Democrats are prioritizing politics over upholding the rules, precedents and dignity of the people’s House by engaging in personal attacks towards President Trump in the text of this legislation, which would be a breach of decorum if read by a Member on the floor,’ read a notice from the Republican Whip’s office.
Trump has not let up on his criticism of the four lawmakers who make up the ‘squad’ – Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley – despite accusations his remarks were racist and even as some Republicans warn him to focus on the liberal lawmakers’ policies and not on the personal.
The resolution condemns him for saying the four should go ‘back where they came from.’ All the lawmakers but Omar were born in the United States.
Trump has defended himself as he continues to slam the members of Congress.
‘Those Tweets were NOT Racist,’ the president wrote on Twitter earlier Tuesday. ‘I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!’
Trump also expressed his fury about an upcoming vote in the House to condemn his tweets, calling it a ‘con game’ that will backfire on Democrats as their party is linked more closely with the lawmakers who make up the ‘squad.’
‘The so-called vote to be taken is a Democrat con game. Republicans should not show ‘weakness’ and fall into their trap,’ he warned on Twitter.