5 Southern Democrats from Trump districts voted to condemn his tweets about Democratic congresswomen
♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor
WASHINGTON (CFP) — After a day of high drama and contentious debate, the U.S. House approved a resolution condemning President Donald Trump for “racist” tweets directed at four left-wing congresswomen with only a single Southern Republican — U.S. Rep. Will Hurd of Texas — voting in favor.
Ninety-four other Southern House Republicans voted against the resolution, which was supported by all 50 Southern House Democrats in the July 16 vote, including five members who represent districts Trump carried in 2016.
Five Republicans from Texas — Kay Granger, Louie Gohmert, Roger Williams, Kenny Marchant and Michael Burgess — did not vote on the resolution. They also did not participate in other roll call votes held the same day.
The floor fight over the resolution was led on the GOP side by U.S. Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, who set off two hours of turmoil after objecting to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling Trump’s tweets “racist,” which he said violated House rules against offering personal criticism of the president.
After lengthy discussions between members and the chamber’s parliamentarians, the chair eventually ruled Pelosi’s comments out of order, but members, on a party-line vote, overturned that ruling.
Trump, who denied his criticism of the congresswomen was racist, had urged Republican members not to show “weakness” in supporting the resolution. In the end, only four Republicans broke ranks to support it.
The resolution said the House “strongly condemns” 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.”
Over the weekend, Trump tweeted that a group of Democratic congresswomen should “go back” to their home countries if they were dissatisfied with life in America.
While he did not single out anyone by name, the tweets appeared to be a reference to four female members from the party’s left wing who have been among his sharpest critics — Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.
Of the four, only Omar, who came to the United States as a refugee from Somalia as a child, was not born in the United States. All four are U.S. citizens, which is a requirement to sit in Congress.
Critics attributed what they see as Trump’s racist intent to make-up of the group, dubbed The Squad. Omar and Pressley are black, Ocasio-Cortez is Latino, and Tlaib is of Palestinian descent.
Hurd represents a majority-Latino swing district in West Texas. He is the only Southern Republican in Congress who represents a district that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016 and is among the top targets for House Democrats next year.
In an interview with PBS, Hurd called the president’s tweets “racist and xenophobic” and “also inaccurate.”
“The four women he is referring to are actually citizens of the United States, three of the four were born here. It’s also a behavior that’s unbecoming of the leader of the free world,” Hurd said. “He should be talking about things that unite us, not divide us. And also, I think, politically, it doesn’t help.”
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