House Rules That Pelosi’s Criticism of Trump Tweets Violates Chamber Rules

July 16, 2019 Updated: July 16, 2019

The House ruled on July 16 that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s criticism of President Donald Trump violated the chamber’s rules.

Pelosi (D-Calif.) was reading a prepared statement that, in part, said, “There is no place anywhere for the president’s words, which are not only divisive, but dangerous—and have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”

She said, “It’s so sad because you would think that there would be a given that we would universally, in this body, just say, ‘Of course. Of course.’”

It prompted Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) to call for Pelosi’s words to be stricken from the record, or “taken down” from the record.

Later, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) took over the gavel to announce that Pelosi’s criticism of Trump violated the rules of the House, reported The Washington Times.

“The words used by the gentlewoman from California contained an accusation of racist behavior on the part of the president,” Hoyer said. “The words should not be used in debate.”

nancy pelosi after passing dream act
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) (L) shakes hands with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) (R) on Capitol Hill on June 4, 2019. (Susan Walsh/AP Photo)

The Washington Times also reported that House members are voting to determine if her words should be stricken from the official record.

“Every single member of this institution, Democratic and Republican, should join us in condemning the president’s racist tweets,” Pelosi also said. “To do anything less would be a shocking rejection of our values and a shameful abdication of our oath of office to protect the American people.”

Collins, several times, asked for the words to be “taken down.”

“Can I ask the words be taken down? I make a point of order that the gentlewoman’s words are unparliamentary and be taken down,” Collins said, according to video footage of the incident.

Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) listen during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on July 15, 2019. (Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)

“The chair will remind all members, please, please, do not make personality-based comments,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.).

The comments that Pelosi was referring to—and what the House may vote on—were Trump’s July 14 comments about Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.).

On July 16, Trump said his critical words toward the four Democratic lawmakers over the weekend were not racist.

“Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!” he wrote on Twitter.

“The so-called vote to be taken is a Democrat con game. Republicans should not show ‘weakness’ and fall into their trap,” the president added. “This should be a vote on the filthy language, statements, and lies told by the Democrat Congresswomen, who I truly believe, based on their actions, hate our Country.”

In addition, Omar has low poll numbers and her freshman ally Ocasio-Cortez fared about the same, Trump continued.

“Get a list of the HORRIBLE things they have said. Omar is polling at 8 percent, Cortez at 21 percent,” he wrote.

Trump said Pelosi “tried to push them away, but now they are forever wedded to the Democrat Party. See you in 2020!”

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