Some House Democrats are eyeing a censure resolution against President Trump, and the party prepares to vote on condemning his tweets aimed at four freshman congresswomen later on Tuesday.
Rep. Steve Cohen introduced a censure resolution as members returned to Capitol Hill, separate from Democrats’ condemnation resolution, arguing a stronger step pushing back on Mr. Trump is needed in addition to the House resolution.
The resolution explicitly describes the tweets aimed at the congresswomen “xenophobic” and claims they “promote White supremacist and nativist ideologies.” It also calls on Mr. Trump to offer an apology “for his repugnant comments described in this resolution which have disgraced the office of the President and dishonored the United States of America.”
A censure resolution would not remove the president from office but would instead be a formal reprimand of specific conduct.
“We think condemnation and censure are pretty much the same thing,” Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer told reporters on Tuesday.
Only three other presidents in history have been censured by Congress — President John Tyler in 1842; President James Buchanan in 1860; and President Andrew Jackson in 1834, though it was ultimately expunged.
“Censure would put him in a class with Andrew Jackson, which is where he wants to be,” Mr. Cohen told reporters. “We should put him where he wants to be, with a president who was racist, who had slaves and who led the Trail of Tears against Native Americans.”
The president came under fire this week after tweeting Sunday that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan should return “from which they came” instead of criticizing the U.S.
Several members on both sides of the aisle condemned his comments, with Democrats denouncing it as a racist attack that harkened back to anti-immigrant rhetoric.
Mr. Cohen told reporters that his resolution is gaining steam among his colleagues and estimates he has around 17 members supporting it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threw water on previous suggestions to censure Mr. Trump, arguing it wasn’t a strong enough move.
House leadership continues to tamp down on the push for a censure, saying the vehicle for condemning the president doesn’t matter.
“At the moment we’re in right now, we want the strongest vote possible,” Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries said.
Mr. Cohen said he didn’t understand why leadership was averse to his resolution.
“They think that condemnation is the better route,” he told reporters. “It made no sense.”
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