US House votes to condemn Prez Trump over his 'racist' tweets against 4 non-white Congresswomen
Washington, Jul 17: In a rare move, the US House of Representatives has passed a resolution to condemn President Donald Trump's "racist" tweets against four non-white Democratic congresswomen who have been critical of his harsh immigration policies.
The vote on Tuesday came days after Trump's tweets about four newly elected lawmakers - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan - triggered widespread uproar.
Trump, on Sunday, in a series of controversial tweets, said that four Democratic Progressive congresswomen should just "go back" to where they came from.
Moved by Congressman Tom Malinowski, the resolution was passed by the 435-member House of Representatives, the Lower House of the US Congress, on a partisan line of 240-184 votes.
The resolution also got support of four Republicans and an independent in the House where the Democratic Party has a majority. Though the result carries no legal repercussions for President Trump, it was an embarrassing one for him.
Reproaching a sitting president on the record is an extremely rare in the US House.
"It's not who we are. It is playing with fire because the words that the president used are heard by people with disturbed minds who do terrible things, violent things, and a line needs to be drawn," Malinowski told the House.
"So that's what we hope to do," he said.
"These comments from the White House are disgraceful and disgusting and these comments are racist," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during the debate.
Trump had been accused of racism and xenophobia for telling the members of congress to leave the country.
The president has since tweeted: "I don't have a Racist bone in my body!"
Ahead of the vote, Trump accused his four outspoken critics of "spewing some of the most vile, hateful and disgusting things ever said by a politician". He, in a series of tweets, said "If you hate our Country, or if you are not happy here, you can leave!".
Congresswoman Grace Meng said that President Trump's comments are "racist" and his vile rants on Twitter are beyond the pale, and show his callous disregard for the office he holds.
"He has not apologised, shown any remorse, and doubled down on his disgusting remarks. As an American, I am appalled by the President's actions these past few days and the weak responses by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle.
"We can disagree with each other, but to tell someone to 'go back' is morally reprehensible. Today, our message is clear: Mr President, shame on you," she said.
Condemning the President for his "racist" statements, Congressman Elijah Cummings said although Trump has indicated that there are "many people who agree with" his comments, there are many Americans, who are were disappointed that the individual who acts as their representative on the world stage would share these racist sentiments.
"I have confidence that the beliefs reflected in the president's statements are not held by the American people as a whole and do not reflect who we are as a nation," he said.
"He told four women of colour - three of whom are natural born citizens, born and raised in their home country of America - to 'go back' to their countries," House Majority leader Steny Hoyer said in his remarks.
Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley and Tlaib were all born in the US, while Omar is a naturalised US citizen who arrived in the country at a young age as a Somali refugee.
"This is their country, Mr Speaker, I would tell the President. And it is the country of our colleague who came here as a refugee from Somalia. She endured hardships and arrived on our shores, like so many others, seeking freedom, safety, and opportunity. She is an American citizen, one who chose to give back to her community and our country through public service. This is her country," Hoyer said.
Congressman Tom Cole said that while it is certainly appropriate to be critical of what the president said about four fellow Americans and members of Congress, the political exercise pushed by House Democrats in response is a political double standard.
"For anyone who follows debate on the House floor each week, it is known that many Democrats regularly speak in an equally offensive manner toward the president. In fact, Democratic members are frequently admonished by the presiding speaker for violating House rules. This type of political rhetoric needs to stop," he said.
In urging four female members of Congress of colour to "go back" where they came from, these comments were not only factually incorrect, but they were also deeply hurtful and divisive, alleged House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler.
"These were shocking comments, even from an Administration that rips children from the arms of their parents and warehouses asylum-seekers in facilities under inhumane conditions. We cannot let this moment pass without a forceful condemnation," he said.
Immediately after the resolution passed, Democratic Representative Al Green of Texas filed articles of impeachment against President Trump.
The Democratic Party leadership has refused to pursue impeachment, despite increasing calls from members of their party to do so.
Reading from his resolution, Green said Trump had "brought the high office of the President of the United States into contempt, ridicule, disgrace and disrepute".