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House Democrats passed a temporary rule change ahead of their impeachment of President Trump which allowed members to hurl insults and repeatedly call him a racist.
While the U.S. House of Representatives normally has rules of “decorum” to observe during proceedings, Democrats appear to have made adjustments in anticipation of the disrespectful spectacle on Wednesday as they voted to impeach Trump for the second time.
Trump was smeared as a racist and white supremacist during debate on the House floor in spite of the chamber’s rules that they “refrain from speaking disrespectfully” of the president and other leaders. Rules that call for lawmakers to avoid “discussing personalities” were also tossed aside as a temporary rule change allowed a free-for-all in insults lobbed at Trump.
Missouri freshman Rep. Cori Bush called the president the “white supremacist-in-chief” during her floor speech, proudly sharing video of the remarks on her Twitter page where there was no sign of any repercussions.
St. Louis and I rise to say that the 117th Congress has a mandate to legislate in defense of Black lives.
The first step in that process is rooting out white supremacy, starting with impeaching the white supremacist-in-chief. pic.twitter.com/TmYD1bU6ij
— Congresswoman Cori Bush (@RepCori) January 13, 2021
Bush’s smug self-congratulation was joined by her colleague and Squad member, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who referred to the sitting U.S. president as a “racist-in-chief.”
— Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (@RepRashida) January 13, 2021
New York Democrat Rep. Jerry Nadler accused Trump of using his “bully pulpit” and “whipping his supporters into a frenzy.” He claimed that “racism played a direct role” in the incitement and went on to accuse the president of using “violent rhetoric.”
Rep. Jerry Nadler: “We will bring the rioters to justice. Their accomplices in this house will be held responsible.”
— ABC News (@ABC) January 13, 2021
Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota referred to Trump as a “tyrant president,” Rep. Cedric Richmond called him “unfit” and Maxine Waters declared he was “capable of starting a civil war.”
The Congressional Research Service published a report back in 1999 that detailed what House rules allowed lawmakers to say about the president, and what they were prohibited from saying, concluding that criticism of policy is acceptable but not personal attacks.
“References to the President that have been ruled unparliamentary include calling the president a ‘liar,’ attributing ‘hypocrisy’ to him, accusing him of ‘demagoguery’ and alluding to alleged personal misconduct or a ‘propensity for unethical behavior’ on the president’s part,” the report stated.
But Democrats pushed through a temporary rule change on Tuesday as they prepared to debate on H. Res. 21 and H. Res. 24, the request for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump and the article of impeachment, respectively.
The rule change, which was passed by the House Rules Committee along party lines, according to Breitbart, provided that “the prohibition against personality in debate with respect to references to the President shall not apply during consideration of H. Res. 21 or any special order of business providing for the consideration of H. Res. 24.”
U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds condemned House Democrats for their “outrageous” language during the proceedings and for weaponizing their arguments with claims against the president of white supremacy.
“I thought the language is outrageous. I thought it was awful,” Donalds told Fox News Thursday.
“First of all, Joe Biden is a white man. For America, he needs to understand. The president-elect is a white man himself. So I don’t even understand what this whole line is coming from about white supremacy and so on and so forth,” he said. “So I think that this line is something the left always does. They always try to bring race into something in order to weaponize their arguments, to make people just frankly be quiet, to shut up and to sit down,”