Donald Trump
Donald Trump speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.

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.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

Adjacent posts