NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

U.S. House votes to condemn Donald Trump’s bigoted, racist, appalling “go back” tweets

The United States House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly this afternoon to condemn Donald Trump’s bigoted, racist, and appalling tweets aimed at Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib. By a vote of two hundred and forty to one hundred and eighty-seven, the House adopted a resolution rebuking Trump’s comments and reiterating that America has and always will be a nation of immigrants.

Four Republicans voted in support of the resolution, while six did not vote. The remaining Republicans voted nay. Every single Democrat voted yes.

House Resolution 489

“Our Caucus will continue to forcefully respond to those attacks on our Members, which reflect a fundamental disrespect for the beautiful diversity of America,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi in remarks on the floor prior to the final vote.

“It’s so sad because you would think that there would be a given that we would universally in this body just say, of course, of course, and there is no excuse for any response to those words but a swift and strong unified condemnation.”

After Pelosi spoke, Republicans moved to have her comments stricken from the record because she had repeatedly called Trump’s comments racist. However, the House voted along party lines not to strike Pelosi’s comments from the record.

The final vote from the Pacific Northwest was along party lines.

Voting Aye: Democratic Representatives Suzan DelBene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Pramila Jayapal, Kim Schrier, Adam Smith, and Denny Heck (WA), Suzanne Bonamici, Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, and Kurt Schrader (OR)

Voting Nay: Republican Representatives Jaime Herrera-Beutler, Dan Newhouse, Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA), Greg Walden (OR), Don Young (AK), Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson (ID), Greg Gianforte (MT)

The four Republicans who defied Trump and his stooge Kevin McCarthy were:

  • Will Hurd of Texas
  • Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania
  • Fred Upton of Michigan
  • Susan Brooks of Indiana

No Republicans from the Pacific Northwest joined them, as mentioned — not even Jaime Herrera-Beutler, who is considered an endangered incumbent by her own party. (Democratic challenger Carolyn Long has announced a rematch for 2020.)

Shame on the bulk of the House Republican caucus for choosing fealty to Donald Trump instead of standing for the principles our country was founded upon.

But thank goodness the House as a whole adopted this resolution. Even if it did not use the word censure, it still called out Trump’s racism and denounced it.

Among the sponsors of the resolution was our own Pramila Jayapal, who said:

I am appalled at the statements coming from the White House, telling people who dissent that somehow you should go back to your country if you criticize the United States.

Well, let me remind you that dissent is patriotic and, in fact, a core value to our democracy, enshrined in our Constitution.

And yes, I am a proud naturalized citizen born in India, a proud patriot, a proud person who belongs in this country. And it’s not the first time I’ve heard “go back to your own country,” but it is the first time I have heard it coming from the White House.

And frankly, Madam Speaker, I am appalled that, on this floor, my Republican colleagues would call any of us anti-American.

That is why this vote is so important.

Because we have to let the rest of the country know that the House of Representatives will stand up for the Constitution and represent and defend every single person in the country, regardless of the color of their skin or the country of their birth.

Madam Speaker, my Republican colleagues have been talking about patriotism, about love of country.

One of them said, “Love it or leave it.”

But what is love, if not to make what we love better through our critique, our work and our service? That is what real Americans do.

We do not stifle dissent, we do not otherize or sow hatred, and we certainly never say, “go back to your country” to a brown or a black person, because that is a racist trope.

I hope that every single member of this chamber – Republican and Democrat – will join me in rejecting the president’s message and vote in support of this resolution. That is the American thing to do.

We agree and we thank Representative Jayapal for her leadership.

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