Democrats erupt over Trump attacks

Democrats unleashed a fury of criticism on President TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani says he is unaware of reported federal investigation Louisiana's Democratic governor forced into runoff Lawmakers focus their ire on NBA, not China MORE throughout the day on Monday as his attacks on a group of minority congresswomen served to unite a divided caucus against the White House.  

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiWhy calls for impeachment have become commonplace The Constitution doesn't require a vote to start the impeachment process Louisiana voters head to the polls in governor's race as Trump urges GOP support MORE (D-Calif.) announced that the House would vote on a resolution to formally condemn Trump for tweeting that four Democratic congresswomen of color should “go back” to their countries.

The text of the resolution obtained by The Hill "strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should 'go back' to other countries."

The day was punctuated by a dramatic appearance at the Capitol by the four freshman lawmakers targeted by Trump, who one-by-one ripped into the president for distracting the country with a racist attack.

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“This is the agenda of white nationalists,” Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies Trump pushed for her ouster The Hill's Morning Report — Arrest of Giuliani associates triggers many questions Trump attacks Omar as 'America-hating socialist' at Minnesota rally MORE (D-Minn.) said of what she called Trump’s “blatantly racist attack.”

“Weak minds and leaders challenge loyalty to our country in order to avoid challenging and debating the policy,” said another of the four women, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDemocrat launches primary challenge to Ocasio-Cortez Ocasio-Cortez fires back at Washington Times after story on her 'high-dollar hairdo' The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — House Dems subpoena Giuliani associates MORE (D-N.Y.). “He does not know how to defend his policies, so what he does is attack us personally.”

Trump’s attacks provided an opportunity for Pelosi to unite a caucus that itself was riven by infighting last week, much of it between herself and Ocasio-Cortez, Omar and Reps. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyPennsylvania candidate would be first autistic woman elected to a state legislature Pressley joins hundreds of activists calling for Kavanaugh impeachment: 'I believe in the power of us' The 13 House Democrats who back Kavanaugh's impeachment MORE (Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibTlaib says Democrats have discussed detaining White House officials who don't testify The 13 House Democrats who back Kavanaugh's impeachment Detroit police chief calls Tlaib facial recognization idea 'racist' MORE (Mich.), who were also at Monday evening’s news conference.

“This weekend, the president went beyond his own low standards using disgraceful language about Members of Congress,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to colleagues. “The House cannot allow the president’s characterization of immigrants to our country to stand."

She said the House would vote on a resolution from Reps. Tom MalinowskiThomas (Tom) MalinowskiIn testimony, Dems see an ambassador scorned, while GOP defends Trump Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to testify on Libra | Extremists find home on Telegram app | Warren blasts Facebook for not removing anti-Biden ad | California outlaws facial recognition in police body cameras | China rips US tech sanctions House Democrats introduce new legislation to combat foreign election interference MORE (D-N.J.), who was born in Poland, and Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinOversight panel to subpoena Trump officials next week over deportation deferrals Democrats plow ahead as Trump seeks to hobble impeachment effort Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to testify on Libra | Extremists find home on Telegram app | Warren blasts Facebook for not removing anti-Biden ad | California outlaws facial recognition in police body cameras | China rips US tech sanctions MORE (D-Md.), as well as other lawmakers born in other countries, to condemn Trump’s “disgusting attacks.”

The Speaker sought to highlight fractures among Republicans as she moved to unify her own divided caucus. Some rank-and-file Republicans spoke out against Trump’s tweets on Monday after initial widespread silence the day before, with two directly calling the attacks “racist.” But most House and Senate GOP leaders had yet to comment on Trump’s tweets.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyFive ways Trump's Syria decision spells trouble The Hill's Morning Report — Arrest of Giuliani associates triggers many questions Cheney slated to introduce bill to place sanctions on Turkey MORE (R-Calif.) declined to say on Monday whether he would support the resolution to condemn Trump's comments.

"You're asking me about a vote on something that hasn't been written yet," McCarthy told reporters. "I think what needs to happen is a little cooler heads, let's work on the issues that are causing problems in this country."

When asked why he hadn't issued a response on Sunday to Trump's tweets, McCarthy tried to turn it back on the reporter who asked the question. "Did you ask me a question yesterday?" he asked. And when the reporter pointed out that his office could have put out a statement, McCarthy replied, "Now you're going to judge whether I do or do not something?"

“Our Republican colleagues must join us in condemning the president’s xenophobic tweets,” Pelosi wrote.

While Democrats were united on Monday, they do face a number of pressures that could pull them apart once again in the coming weeks.

Within minutes after Pelosi informed Democrats of the resolution condemning Trump, Rep. Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenClimate finance must push net-zero emissions Trump impeachment efforts will haunt the next Democrat in the White House Overnight Energy: Lawmaker, scientists challenge move to eliminate key advisory boards | White House nixes climate language from emissions proposal | Raffle offers deer hunt with Donald Trump Jr. MORE (D-Texas) announced that he will force a vote on impeaching Trump in the coming days. 

Pelosi and her allies have sought to keep the House from voting on Trump’s impeachment, seeing it as something that could put centrist Democrats on the spot and play into the GOP’s hands.

A series of upcoming debates over the minimum wage, border security and the debt limit also are likely to highlight differences between centrists and liberals in the House Democratic caucus.

And on Friday, the official Twitter feed for House Democratic Caucus rebuked Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff for a weeks-old tweet criticizing a vulnerable centrist lawmaker.

Ocasio-Cortez’s aide, Saikat Chakrabarti, fired back that “I’m not interested in substance-less Twitter spats.”

Both Tlaib — who drew attention on her first day in Congress by pledging to “impeach the motherf----r” — and Omar reiterated their support for Trump’s impeachment at Monday’s press conference.

“Sadly, this is not the first nor will it be the last time we hear disgusting, bigoted language from the president. We know this is who he is,” Tlaib said. “I urge House leadership, many of my colleagues, to take action to impeach this lawless president today.”

Green previously forced House floor votes on impeachment in December 2017 and January 2018 when Republicans still controlled the chamber. Both procedural votes failed but each garnered the support of about 60 Democrats.

Green on Monday announced that he would force a third vote before the House leaves for the August recess. He cited Trump’s tweets as more evidence of “bigotry in policy” and said that they made him reach a “boiling point.”

“We’ll give people the opportunity and we’ll find out who’s willing to do something about bigotry,” Green said at a press conference.

Pelosi and Democratic leaders opposed Green’s previous efforts to force floor votes on impeachment. But this will be the first time he’s forced a vote since Democrats took over the House majority. While 83 Democrats — and independent Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashAmash says he's happy not feeling 'bound to a particular party' Amash on Syria: Trump's not ending anything Trump says House Democrats 'unfortunately' have the votes to impeach MORE (Mich.) — are on the record supporting an impeachment inquiry, Pelosi and most other lawmakers remain opposed as they continue with investigations.

That will make it a tough vote for Democrats struggling with impeachment yet forced to go on the record by their own colleague.

Green remained defiant and said that Pelosi’s opposition wouldn’t stop him.

“I don’t know that all of the members will be governed by one person’s opinion,” Green said of Pelosi. “All members should vote their conscience. And my belief is that Speaker Pelosi will encourage people to vote their consciences.”

—Updated at 8:48 p.m.