Tuesday, July 16, 2019

House votes against striking Pelosi remarks from record






By Juliegrace Brufke 
07/16/19 
05:30 PM EDT



The House voted against striking Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) floor remarks blasting President Trump from the record on Tuesday after the House parliamentarian in a rare rebuke of the Speaker said her comments violated House rules.

The vote on the motion to strike Pelosi’s remarks failed in a 190-232 vote with no Democratic support. Every Republican voted in favor of the motion.

The parliamentarian ruled the speech violated rules forbidding personal attacks on the House floor against the president.

Pelosi was offering comments about a resolution set to condemn as racist Trump's comments earlier in the week that four minority congresswomen should "go back" to their home countries. All four are U.S. citizens, and three of them were born in the U.S.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced the parliamentarian’s decision against Pelosi, stating that by calling the remarks by Trump racist, she had violated the House’s rules.

"The chair is prepared to rule. The words of the gentlewoman from California contain an accusation of racist behavior on the part of the president. As memorialized in Chapter 29, Section 65.6, characterizing an action as racist is not in order," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on the floor ahead of the vote.

"The chair relies on the precedent of May 15, 1984, and finds that the words should not be used in debate," he continued.

Pelosi said she did not regret her remarks.

"I stand by my statement. I’m proud of the attention that’s being called to it because what the president said was completely inappropriate against our colleagues, but not just against them, against so many people in our country," Pelosi told reporters ahead of the vote.

Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, led the effort to have Pelosi’s remarks removed.

Earlier, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) in the same debate asked that remarks made by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) be stricken from the record for calling Democratic lawmakers anti-American.

But she appeared to withdraw her request during an ensuing discussion with the presiding House member, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.).

The battle over floor speeches came as the House debated the resolution condemning the president's comments.

In her floor remarks, Pelosi criticized Trump’s “xenophobic attacks on our members, on our people.”

“How shameful to hear him continue to defend those offensive words, words that we have all heard him repeat, not only about our members but about countless others,” she said.

After Collins asked Pelosi if she would like to rephrase her comments, Pelosi said she had cleared them with the parliamentarian in advance.

“I would like to make a point of order that the gentlewoman's words are unparliamentary and ask they be taken down,” Collins said.

Cleaver, who was presiding over the floor, then reminded members “to refrain from engaging in personalities toward the president.”

As deliberations took place, Pelosi exited the chamber despite members who have been flagged for potential violations being expected to remain on the floor.

Cleaver, in a dramatic moment, later abruptly left his position presiding over the House in frustration. He said the two parties had been treated fairly in the floor debate.

"We don't ever, ever want to pass up it seems an opportunity to escalate, and that's what this is," he said. "I dare anybody to look at any of the footage and see if there is unfairness, but unfairness is not enough because we want to just fight."

"I abandon the chair," he then stated before slamming his gavel down and leaving his position.

He was replaced by Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.).

Republicans were reveling in the Democrats’ problems.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) took to Twitter to note Pelosi would not be able to speak on the floor for the remainder of the day after failing to comply with House rules.

“BREAKING NEWS —> Speaker Pelosi just broke the rules of the House, and is no longer permitted to speak on the floor of the House for the rest of the day,” he tweeted.

But McCarthy's tweet ultimately proved to be premature.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) requested Pelosi's speaking privileges be restored immediately after the vote to strike her comments from the record failed on the floor.

"I move that the gentlewoman from California, Ms. Pelosi, be permitted to proceed in order," he said on the floor.

Collins requested a recorded vote on the motion to allow her to speak, which passed in a 231-190 vote with no Republican support.

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