House Dems plan measure to censure Trump over ‘s—hole countries’ remarks
Two top House Democrats said Friday they will unveil a resolution next week to censure President Trump following reports he expressed a preference for immigrants from Norway over people from what he described as “shithole countries” like Haiti, El Salvador and African nations.
Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, expect to formally introduce the censure resolution after the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.
The two lawmakers said in a joint statement that they were “deeply disturbed and offended” by Trump’s remarks describing places like Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries.”
The Washington Post first reported that Trump made the comments during an Oval Office meeting with members of Congress about immigration policy.
In announcing their plans, Richmond and Nadler pointedly noted that Trump lost the popular vote to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016 — a fact that Trump has at times claimed, without substantiation, is because of fraudulent votes.
“This censure resolution is important because America is a beacon of hope. We have to show the world that this president does not represent the real feelings of most of the American people which is part of the reason why he lost the popular vote,” Richmond and Nadler said.
“Congress must speak with one voice in condemning these offensive and anti-American remarks. There is no excuse for it.”
Some Republicans have joined with Democrats in criticizing Trump over the remarks.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) broke his silence on the issue on Friday, saying at a WisPolitics event that Trump’s comments were “very unfortunate” and “unhelpful.”
Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah), a Haitian-American, called on Trump to apologize.
“The president’s comments are unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values,” Love said in a statement.
Richmond and Nadler said they will ask House GOP leaders to bring up the resolution for a vote, but their efforts are unlikely to be successful.
Nadler previously introduced a resolution to censure Trump when he cast equal blame on white supremacists and counterprotesters for violence in Charlottesville, Va., last August.
Earlier Friday, Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) announced that he would force another House floor vote to impeach Trump next week in light of Trump’s remarks. A vote Green forced last month failed on the floor, but 58 Democrats supported it.
“Congressional condemnation of racist bigotry is not enough. In Congress, talk is cheap — it’s how we vote that counts. Next week, I will again bring a resolution to impeach @realDonaldTrump. I will put my vote where my mouth is,” Green tweeted.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has stayed away from liberals’ calls for impeachment, citing the ongoing investigations into whether the Russian government coordinated with the Trump campaign to influence the 2016 election.
But Pelosi did endorse the push to censure Trump over his handling of the white supremacists in Charlottesville, saying at the time that “with each passing day, it becomes clearer that the Republican Congress must declare whether it stands for our sacred American values or with the President who embraces white nationalism.”
Despite denouncing Trump’s response to the Charlottesville violence, Republicans almost immediately rejected the idea of censuring the president.
The censure resolution gained most of the House Democratic caucus as co-sponsors but ultimately never received any legislative action.
Congress has rarely tried to censure a president.
The only time the Senate considered censure was for President Andrew Jackson in 1834 for moving to dismantle the Bank of the United States. The censure resolution was ultimately revoked by Jackson’s allies three years later after they gained control of the chamber.
The House has moved a handful of times to censure or rebuke presidents, such as John Tyler in 1842 for abuse of powers and James Buchanan in 1860 for the handling of Navy contracts.
Some Democrats suggested censuring President Bill Clinton in place of an impeachment vote in 1998, but their efforts were not successful.
– Olivia Beavers contributed.