(CNSNews.com) – The Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, joined by four Republicans and an independent, voted Tuesday to condemn President Trump for comments about Democratic congresswomen which the resolution described as “racist.”
The resolution passed 240-187, with no Democrat voting “nay.” The four Republicans to vote in favor were Reps. Susan Brooks (Ind.), Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Will Hurd (Texas), and Fred Upton (Mich.), who were joined by Republican-turned-independent Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.). Six Republicans did not vote.
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 ...”
The move was sparked by a series of tweets Sunday by the president, criticizing the views and statements of what he called “‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen” – apparently a reference to freshmen Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.).
“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” he tweeted. “Then come back and show us how (...) it is done.”
Further tweets followed, including one in which Trump said, “If Democrats want to unite around the foul language & racist hatred spewed from the mouths and actions of these very unpopular & unrepresentative Congresswomen, it will be interesting to see how it plays out.”
The resolution was brought to a vote two days after the row erupted.
Earlier this year, by contrast, when a controversy blew up over comments by Omar implying that some U.S. politicians were being paid to be pro-Israel, it took more than three weeks before Democratic leaders shepherded through the House a resolution that was initially expected to condemn anti-Semitism, but in the end was, critics said, diluted to cover a range of offensive behavior.
That resolution, passed 25 days after Omar’s provocative comments on Twitter, did not name Omar, and referred not only to anti-Semitism but also Islamophobia, and bigotry targeting “African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other people of color, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and others.”
Tuesday’s vote to censure Trump came after a series of delays, following comments on the House floor by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) which a Republican member challenged as “unparliamentary.”
“Every single member of this institution, Democratic and Republican, should join us in condemning the president’s racist tweets,” Pelosi stated. “To do anything less would be a shocking rejection of our values and a shameful abdication of our oath of office to protect the American people.”
Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, then invited Pelosi to “rephrase that comment,” but she retorted that she had cleared her words with the House parliamentarian before reading them.
Collins pressed for the remarks to be “taken down.” After lengthy debate – during which the presiding chair, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) abandoned the gavel in frustration – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced that Pelosi’s comments had been found to be “not in order” and called a vote on whether they should be stricken from the record.
The vote failed, with 190 Republicans and 232 Democrats voting along party lines.
Collins tweeted later, “No lawmaker is above the rules of the House because those rules make sure every person in our democracy has a chance to be heard.”
“So great to see how unified the Republican Party was on today’s vote concerning statements I made about four Democrat Congresswomen,” Trump tweeted later on Tuesday night.
“The Republican vote was 187-4. Wow! Also, this was the first time since 1984 that the Speaker of the House was ruled Out of Order and broke the Rules of the House. Quite a day!”
Immediately after the resolution condemning Trump passed, Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) introduced articles of impeachment against the president, in a bid to force a vote.
By his statements, Green said, Trump had “brought the high office of the president of the United States in contempt, ridicule, disgrace, and disrepute.”
“Donald John Trump, by causing such harm to the society of the United States, is unfit to be president and warrants impeachment, trial and removal from office.”
For procedural reasons, Green’s resolution was not taken up on Tuesday.
This is the third time Green has introduced impeachment resolutions. He did so in June 2017 and again in January 2018, both time citing public statements by Trump which he charged constituted “harm to American society to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.”
Green is also one of 16 co-sponsors to a resolution introduced in March calling on the House Judiciary Committee to “inquire whether the House of Representatives should impeach Donald John Trump.”
That resolution’s author is Tlaib, one of the four congresswomen at the center of the row over Trump’s tweets.