On the night of July 16, the House of Representatives voted to pass a resolution condemning President Donald Trump for his “racist comments” about four Democratic congresswomen of color known as “The Squad.”
235 Democrats and only four Republicans voted in favor of the measure after hours of debate and grandstanding on the House floor, reported NBC News.
“Every single member of this institution, Democratic and Republican, should join us in condemning the president’s racist tweets. To do anything less would be a shocking rejection of our values and a shameful abdication of our oath of office to protect the American people. I urge a unanimous vote,” Pelosi said.
The votes came days after Trump tweeted the four progressive Congresswomen should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
While Trump didn’t mention the representatives by name, it was widely speculated the president’s tweets were aimed at Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar.
Before the vote on the resolution, Pelosi held a closed-door meeting with House Democrats, reminding the representatives “these are our sisters” in reference to “The Squad.”
“The fact is, as offended as we are — and we are offended by what he said about our sisters — he says that about people every day, and they feel as hurt as we do about somebody in our family having this offense against them,” Pelosi said in the meeting.
“This is, I hope, one where we will get Republican support,” she added. “If they can’t support condemning the words of the president, well, that’s a message in and of itself.”
Before the vote, activist and Georgia Congressman John Lewis delivered an impassioned speech about the president’s tweets and the oppositions ability to call them racist.
“I know racism when I see it. I know racism when I feel it,” Lewis said. “The world is watching. They are shocked and dismayed because it seems we have lost our way.”
Earlier in the day, Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he did not believe Trump’s tweets were racist.
“I believe this is about ideology, this is about socialism versus freedom,” McCarthy said during a news conference.
“This is more from their base. It’s about politics, and it’s unfortunate,” he said. “We should get back to the business of America.”
Shortly before the House vote, the four Congresswomen sat down with CBS “This Morning” host Gayle King to discuss the recent incidents.
“I’m dealing with the biggest bully I’ve ever had to deal with in my lifetime and trying to push back on that, and trying to do the job that we all have been sent here to do, which is centered around the people at home,” Rep. Tlaib told King. “This is a distraction.”
With the support of his base, Republican lawmakers and white nationalists, Trump has refused to walk back his original statements.
“Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body! The so-called vote to be taken is a Democrat con game. Republicans should not show ‘weakness’ and fall into their trap,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
When it comes to the lack of condemnation from the right, Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib said the Republican representatives are sending a message to the country that this attitude is normal.
“They could not bring themselves to have the basic human decency to vote against the statement that the president made on the floor,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“They’re choosing him over country,” Tlaib added.