Congressional Black Caucus, Pelosi back effort to censure Trump
Posted January 18, 2018 2:38 p.m. EST
(CNN) — The Congressional Black Caucus introduced legislation Thursday to censure President Donald Trump's vulgar remarks last week and the effort has the backing of the House's Democratic leader.
Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond, a Louisiana Democrat, jointly submitted the resolution with top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, Jerry Nadler of New York. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is a co-sponsor of the resolution, according to her spokesman.
While the likelihood of such a resolution moving through a Republican-controlled House is extremely low, Pelosi's support brings more attention to the push. Her comments come at a particularly divided time in American politics, as the government approaches a shutdown deadline and both political parties blame each other for the impasse.
Last week, Trump used vulgar language to describe African countries in criticizing an immigration proposal submitted by a bipartisan group of senators, Democratic Whip Dick Durbin told reporters. Trump also asked why the US needed more immigrants from places such as Haiti. Sen. Tim Scott told a local newspaper that fellow South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham who was at the meeting said Durbin's account was "basically accurate," though several other attendees have said they don't recall whether a specific vulgarity had been used. Trump on Twitter denied using those words but did characterize his language as "tough."
The resolution would censure the President for his remarks, and calls on Trump to retract his "hateful, discriminatory, and racist" remarks.
Richmond on Thursday called on House Speaker Paul Ryan to bring up the resolution for a vote.
"The truth of the matter is, the Speaker should bring it up," he said, "because if he doesn't, he is enabling and continuing to allow the president to perpetuate this hateful rhetoric."
This is not a privileged resolution, meaning it must go through Ryan, who would decide whether to bring it to the floor of the House of Representatives in order to be considered by members of Congress.
Richmond criticized Ryan for only calling the President's reported remarks in the closed-door immigration meeting "unfortunate."
"It's unfortunate when I miss my bus. Or it's unfortunate when the airlines lose my luggage," Richmond asserted. "But when the President of the United States decides to call Africa, Haiti and El Salvador the words he used, that is not unfortunate. That is wrong ... that is disgusting ... that is hurtful."
If the Speaker does not bring this to the floor, Richmond vowed that they would find other "creative" ways to allow a vote, including protest or procedural movements.
Nadler added that the President's remarks are a continuation of the President's "history of divisiveness, bigotry and racism."