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Floor fight erupts as Pelosi speaks ahead of vote to condemn Trump’s tweets

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Trump is racist, and every Republican legislator is racist, and every Republican voter is racist. It’s even more racist to object to being called a racist. (Mark Steyn)

Floor fight erupts as Pelosi speaks ahead of vote to condemn Trump’s ‘racist’ comments

By Gregg Re, FOX News, July 16, 2019:

Escalating tensions on Capitol Hill erupted into a contentious floor fight in the House of Representatives on Tuesday afternoon, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke in favor of a proposed resolution condemning “racist” comments by President Trump — even as Republican leaders stood steadfast behind the president.

When Pelosi’s remarks turned personal, Georgia Republican Rep. Doug Collins rose to challenge her and demand that her words be “taken down.” The extraordinary rebuke, the first of its kind involving a member of Congress and a speaker of the House in decades, theoretically could result in Pelosi being barred from speaking on the floor for the remainder of the day.

“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,” Pelosi, D-Calif., 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.'”

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Pelosi continued, her voice rising: “There’s no excuse for any response to those words but a swift and strong unified condemnation. Every single member of this institution, Democratic and Republican, should join us in condemning the president’s racist tweets. 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. I urge a unanimous vote, and yield back the balance of my time.”

Collins then stood and asked if Pelosi wanted to “rephrase that comment.”

GOP congressman demands Pelosi’s House floor statement be ‘taken down’ after she denounces Trump’s tweets

“I have cleared my remarks with the parliamentarian before I read them,” Pelosi said, before walking away to applause.

“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.

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

Collins then repeated his request to strike Pelosi’s comments. For more than 20 minutes after Collins’ objection, House members were huddled with the parliamentarian, Thomas J. Wickham Jr., to determine next steps. Wickham’s determination could be overruled by Cleaver or a vote of the full House.

As the consultation dragged on, Pelosi then appeared to leave the House floor, which itself constitutes a violation of House Rules when someone’s words are taken down.

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Among other volumes, the House has used Thomas Jefferson’s “Manual of Parliamentary Practice” as a touchstone for House operations even today. Jefferson’s manual stated that House members cannot use language on the floor “which is personally offensive to the President.”

The House also relies on Cannon’s Book of Precedents, authored by the late Missouri Rep. Clarence Cannon, a Democrat. Cannon’s book says that “personal criticism, innuendo, ridicule and terms of opprobrium” are out of the order in the House.

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