Determined to score political points over a series of tweets from President Donald Trump calling the “squad” of four freshman Democrats for their utter contempt for America, House Democrats moved to condemn the president.
Decreeing the tweets to be “racist,” the Democrat-controlled lower chamber passed a resolution entitled “H. Res. 489 — Condemning President Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress.”
The move to get their Trump hate on blew up in their faces as the House descended into absolute chaos, with rules going out the window and Speaker Nancy Pelosi being banished from speaking on the floor — temporarily.
Disregarding rules, a grandstanding Pelosi, D-Calif., took to the floor to denounce the president.
“There is no place anywhere for the president’s words, which are not only divisive but dangerous — and have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color,” Pelosi said. “It’s so sad because you would think that there would be a given that we would universally, in this body, just say, ‘Of course. Of course.'”
“There’s no excuse for any response to those words but a swift and strong unified condemnation,” she declared, with an added dose of vigor. “Every single member of this institution, Democratic and Republican, should join us in condemning the president’s racist tweets. 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. I urge a unanimous vote, and yield back the balance of my time.”
Falling back on House Rule XVII, Clause 1(B), which requires remarks on the floor “be confined to the question under debate, avoiding personality,” a challenge was made by Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., who demanded that Pelosi strike her words critical of Trump.
More from Fox News on how that played out:
Collins immediately stood and asked if Pelosi wanted to “rephrase that comment.”
“I have cleared my remarks with the parliamentarian before I read them,” Pelosi claimed, before walking away to applause.
“Can I ask the words be taken down? I make a point of order that the gentlewoman’s words are unparliamentary and be taken down,” Collins said.
“The chair will remind all members, please, please, do not make personality-based comments,” the chair, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., responded.
A side discussion with parliamentarian ensued for over 30 minutes to consider the objection from Collins — Pelosi again violated House rules when she left the floor, as members are supposed to be seated on the floor as a member’s words are stricken, according to Fox News.
Boxed in and faced with having to go against Speaker Pelosi, Cleaver did something unprecedented in modern congressional history — he left.
“I abandon the chair,” the Democrat said, taking his ball and going home.
Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., assumed the chair, before Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., stepped in to take control of the floor.
Hoyer then did the dirty work Cleaver was not up for, he ruled against Pelosi and the decision banned her from speaking on House floor for the rest of the day.
“The words used by the gentlewoman from California contained an accusation of racist behavior on the part of the president,” Hoyer stated. “The words should not be used in debate.”
But Democrats discarded the concept of rules and overruled the parliamentarian, voting to restore Pelosi’s speaking privileges and keep her comments on the record.
“Democrats admitted her words violated the rules of decorum, the very rules that ensure democracy’s every voice can be heard as we carry out the people’s business,” Collins said, in a statement on Tuesday. “Still, every Democrat lawmaker voted against striking her words from the record. It bears repeating the House prizes decorum because it is a symptom of and a catalyst for a healthy, confident democracy. I hope we recover that confidence soon and more forward with respect for the American people who sent elected officials, including the president, to represent them in Washington.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., tweeted on the development.
“The facts are clear: the House rules of order and decency were broken by the very person tasked with upholding them—the Speaker of the House,” he tweeted. “But just now, Democrats voted to ignore the rules and give special treatment to one of their own.”
The facts are clear: the House rules of order and decency were broken by the very person tasked with upholding them—the Speaker of the House. But just now, Democrats voted to ignore the rules and give special treatment to one of their own.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) July 16, 2019
For the record, four Republicans joined their Trump-hating colleagues from across the aisle in voting for the resolution: Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, Will Hurd, Susan Brooks and Fred Upton.
Hurd tried to walk the fence in a later tweet explaining his vote.
“There is no room in America for racism, sexism, antisemitism, xenophobia and hate,” he tweeted. “I voted to condemn the President’s tweets today but I hope that Speaker Pelosi also considers holding members of her own party accountable to the same degree to which she holds the President.”
There is no room in America for racism, sexism, antisemitism, xenophobia and hate. I voted to condemn the President's tweets today but I hope that Speaker Pelosi also considers holding members of her own party accountable to the same degree to which she holds the President.
— Will Hurd (@HurdOnTheHill) July 16, 2019
Here’s a sampling of some of the online reactions to the embarrassing dog and pony show seen Tuesday from Democrats:
The Pelosi majority has abandoned the Rules of the House & even abandoned the Speaker’s Chair. The only Rule left is they are bound by no Rules.
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) July 16, 2019
Let me repeat:
The House of Representatives is voting on whether to strike @SpeakerPelosi’s words calling Trump’s tweets racist.
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) July 16, 2019
This is so bizarre.
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) July 16, 2019
/2 I don't think Cleaver wanted to rule against Pelosi here
— John Bresnahan (@bresreports) July 16, 2019
He just dropped the gavel and walked straight out of the chamber. https://t.co/h8Jmj0Ctwg
— Connor O'Brien (@connorobrienNH) July 16, 2019
What a shitshow.
— Tamiann (@tamiannj) July 16, 2019
— Sasha Talebi (@sashatalebi) July 16, 2019
This is a preview of how smoothly impeachment would run for all you zealots out there
— Jordan Klein (@jordanhk92) July 16, 2019
Wow. Congress just broke.
— ░M░a░x░ ░W░h░i░t░e░ (@maxwellhwhite) July 16, 2019
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