Female House lawmakers ‘raise roof’ after Trump touts their victories

Greg Nash

Democratic women decked out in white to honor the suffragette movement stood up and hollered and cheered Tuesday night when President Trump used his State of the Union address to tout gains in the workforce by women under his administration. 

“No one has benefited more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58 percent of the newly created jobs last year,” Trump said.

At that, women on the Democratic side of the aisle started to rise, and began to applaud one another in an acknowledgment of their victories in the midterm elections.

Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) gave air high-fives to her female colleagues and Rep. Ann Kuster (D-N.H.) was seen “raising the roof” following his comments. 

Democrats won back the House after a record number of women ran for and were elected to office. The 116th Congress has 127 female lawmakers.

Trump nodded his head after the Democratic women began to sit down. 

“You weren’t supposed to do that,” he ad libbed as the cameras in the House cut to Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), the first two Muslim women elected to Congress.

“Thank you very much,” Trump said. “All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before.”

At that point, Trump paused, and after a smattering of applause, the Democratic women again stood to applaud one another.

As they sat down, Trump said: “Don’t sit you’re going to like this” to laughter from the audience.

“At exactly one century, after Congress passed the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in Congress than at any time before.”

That led to more applause, and cameras caught the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump standing from the gallery, both smiling broadly.

It was a departure from earlier in the speech, when Democratic women generally held their applause.

Some on social media who enjoyed Trump getting the silent treatment from Dems shared photos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and social media savvy freshman Ocasio-Cortez reacting to Trump’s message. 

Critics, however, slammed the lawmakers for not clapping while Trump touted the nation’s high employment.

Dana Loesch, spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, said it was “weird” to see the white-clad Democrats refusing to clap for “those lifted off food stamps.”

“Judging by their reaction these are bad things,” Loesch wrote.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ann Kuster Donald Trump female lawmakers Ilhan Omar Ivanka Trump Jared Kushner Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi Rashida Tlaib State of the Union Women

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