Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, the House of Representatives’ No. 2 Democrat, was called to preside over the body Tuesday after an odd parliamentary squabble sent Speaker Nancy Pelosi out of the chambers.
The House parliamentarian flagged Pelosi’s remarks on the floor as violating a congressional rule that prohibits congressmen from referring to the president or his actions as racist.
The House voted largely along party lines Tuesday to condemn as racist President Donald Trump’s tweet about four Democratic congresswomen, three of whom were born in the United States and all of whom are U.S. citizens, which stated they ought to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
The House also voted against striking comments about Trump’s tweets by the Baltimore-born and raised Pelosi from the record.
"These comments from the White House are disgraceful and disgusting,” she said, “and these comments are racist.”
For Hoyer, the parliamentary concerns raised by Republicans were “games” that distracted from the purpose of Tuesday’s House resolution.
“Members chose to play games with the rules rather than allow an honest debate over the racist words used by President Trump,” he wrote in a statement.
Rep. Elijah Cummings voted alongside all his Democratic colleagues, and four wayward Republicans, in favor of the resolution.
“Although the president has indicated that there are ‘many people [who] agree with’ his comments, I, and many Americans, were disappointed that the individual who acts as our representative on the world stage would share these racist sentiments,” the Baltimore Democrat wrote in a statement.
Maryland Policy & Politics
Rep. Jamie Raskin was a co-author of the resolution.
“To tell naturalized American citizens to go back to the countries they came from is nativist and antithetical to everything America stands for,” he said on the House floor.
Maryland’s only Republican representative in Congress, Rep. Andy Harris, said on Monday that Trump’s comments “clearly” weren’t racist.
"He could have meant go back to the district they came from — to the neighborhood they came from,” he told WBAL.
He voted against Tuesday’s resolution.
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger tweeted Monday that the president should apologize to the congresswomen — Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
“It’s a sad day when people ask you if you think @realDonaldTrump’s tweets are racist. Of course they are,” he tweeted. “They are completely unacceptable and beneath the office of the President.”