WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Tuesday voted largely along partisan lines to approve a resolution that condemns President Trump’s “racist comments directed at Members of Congress.”
The resolution passed the chamber by a vote of 240-187, with four Republicans and one independent joining their Democratic colleagues in publicly condemning Trump after he suggested that four Democratic congresswomen “go back” to the “places from which they came.”
Trump’s comments — which targeted Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — have dominated the political discourse on Capitol Hill this week. Democrats have overwhelmingly excoriated the president, while many Republicans have defended him or sought to avoid the issue.
The resolution, a stinging rebuke against the president, states that the House “strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should ‘‘go back’’ to other countries.”
The four House Republicans who broke ranks with their party to support the resolution were Reps. Susan Brooks of Indiana, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Will Hurd of Texas and Fred Upton of Michigan. Justin Amash, a Michigan independent who recently abandoned the GOP, also voted in favor of the resolution.
Rep. Mark Amodei, Nevada’s only Republican in the congressional delegation, issued a statement that brushed off and even made light of Trump’s attacks on congressional women of color.
“I have been consistent in my refusal to enter social media battles which are based largely on personalities,” Amodei said. “I didn’t do it when people were arguably critical of the Jewish faith or referred to the sitting President as a ‘MF-er’, and my refusal has been applied equally regardless of who the source of communication is. My energies and use of congressional resources will continue to focus on people’s health care, people’s immigration statuses, veterans, jobs, the economy, our troops, natural resources, and infrastructure, to name a few.”
“Everyone have a nice day,” Amodei concluded.
By contrast, Las Vegas Democratic Rep. Dina Titus issued a scathing statement to accompany her vote to condemn Trump.
“Republican politicians can continue to make fools of themselves by trying to defend the President’s racist attacks, but white supremacists know exactly what he meant,” Titus said.
“The Anti-Defamation League has a long list of neo-Nazis who are celebrating Trump’s bigotry online,” Titus said. “It’s frightening that we can even imagine having a President who would sink that low – and an entire political party in Washington who continues to enable him. Calling out racism and xenophobia shouldn’t be so difficult.”
In his statement, Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford said he was sent to Washington to work on health care, education, and income inequality.
“Instead, the House was forced to spend the day condemning the president’s racist remarks, restoring the speaker’s privilege to speak and changing our rules so we could take action to hold President Trump accountable,” Horsford said.
“While the President may use his bigoted and xenophobic Tweets as a way to distract from the work we came to Capitol Hill to do, I pledge to stay focused on the work you sent me to Washington to fight for,” Horsford said.
Democratic Rep. Susie Lee took a similar tack.
“The President’s offensive, racist comments directed at four sitting members of Congress are not only completely out of line and unacceptable, but such a distraction from what we were elected to do,” Lee said. “We came here to solve problems, fight for our constituents & improve the lives of the American people. Let’s not forget that.”