Published On: Wed, Jul 17th, 2019

US House Condemns Trump’s Attacks On Four Congresswomen

The US House of Representatives has voted to symbolically condemn President Donald Trump after a series of attacks aimed at four congresswomen.

US House condemns Trump

The resolution denounced Mr Trump’s “racist comments that have legitimised fear and hatred of New Americans and people of colour”.

Mr Trump had been accused of racism and xenophobia for telling the members of congress to leave the country.

The president has since tweeted: “I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!”

Tuesday’s vote passed by 240 votes to 187 in the Democratic-controlled chamber. Four Republicans and the chamber’s sole independent, former Republican lawmaker Justin Amash, joined all 235 Democrats to approve the resolution.

Texas congressman Will Hurd – the only African American Republican – was joined by his Pennsylvania member Brian Fitzpatrick, Michigan member Fred Upton and Indiana member Susan Brooks.

Mr Trump did not explicitly name the women – all four of whom are US citizens – in his initial Twitter tirade, but the context made a clear link to the four Democratic congresswomen, who are known as The Squad.

The congresswomen dismissed the comments as a distraction on Monday, and urged people instead to focus on policies rather than the president’s words.

A rancorous debate preceded the vote. Democrat John Lewis said that “at the highest level of government, there’s no room for racism”, while Republican Dan Meuser called the allegations a “ridiculous slander”.

President Trump tweeted about the vote, praising “how unified the Republican Party was” in voting against the resolution and again attacking the four women for “the horrible things they said about our country, Israel, and much more”.

What did the resolution say?

The resolution “condemning Resident Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress” quoted US founding fathers and former presidents.

Immigration “has defined every stage of American history”, it said, adding that “all Americans, except for the descendants of Native people and enslaved African-Americans, are immigrants or descendants of immigrants”.

It also noted that patriotism is not defined by race or ethnicity “but by devotion to the Constitutional ideals of equality, liberty, inclusion and democracy”.

What is the row about?

On Friday, Ms Ocasio-Cortez, Ms Tlaib and Ms Pressley testified to a House committee about conditions in a migrant detention centre they had visited.

Democrats have widely criticised the Trump administration’s approach to border control, saying they are holding migrants in inhumane conditions.

Mr Trump has defended the actions of his border agents. His administration announced a new rule to take effect on 16 July, which denies asylum to anyone who crosses the southern border without having applied for protection in “at least one third country” on their way to the US.

“If you are not happy, if you are complaining all the time, you can leave,” he told a heated news conference outside the White House.

An opinion poll in the wake of his tweets suggested support for Mr Trump rose among Republicans by 5%, although dipped among Democrats and independent voters.