US House passed a resolution condemning Donald Trump’s racist tweets telling congresswomen of color to “go home” to their countries. The motion passed after a debate, and vote, over whether speaker Nancy Pelosi violated decorum in calling Trump’s racist comments racist. The measure is considered as the first House rebuke of a president in more than 100 years.
Republicans mostly defended Trump against charges of racism. Senate leader Mitch McConnell said, “The president’s not a racist”. House minority leader Kevin McCarthy accused Democrats of a cynical political ploy.
Democrats cast the president's words as an affront to millions of Americans and descendants of immigrants. But the Republican lawmakers - the majority of them white men - stood with Trump against a resolution that rejected his "racist comments that have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color."
The debate played out on a raucous House floor as lawmakers attacked each other's motives and repeatedly questioned whether their opponents had violated long-standing rules of decorum.
Trump insisted in a string of tweets Tuesday morning that he's not a racist - "I don't have a Racist bone in my body!" he wrote - and the top two Republicans in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, made identical statements when pressed on Trump's remarks: "The president is not a racist."
Trump also lashed out at the four Democratic women - Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesotta, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan - for the third day in a row, accusing them of "spewing some of the most vile, hateful, and disgusting things ever said by a politician in the House or Senate."
The words had indeed violated the rules, according to House precedent, and Democrats proceeded to vote on party lines to overrule it in this instance and allow Pelosi's remarks to be printed in the Congressional Record, the official legislative annals.
Democrats insisted that the vote was a test for the Congress and the nation. At the end of the discussion, the resolution against US President Trump was passed nearly along party lines, 240 to 187, after one of the most polarizing exchanges on the floor in recent times. Only four Republicans and the House’s lone independent, Representative Justin Amash of Michigan, voted with all Democrats to condemn the president.