Democrats Seek to Censure Trump

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The chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and the ranking Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on the Judiciary want to censure President Trump for his remarks denigrating Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries. “We were deeply disturbed and offended by President Trump’s remarks regarding Haiti and African countries,” U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) and Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said at a news conference on Jan. 18. “The countries he called ‘s—tholes’ produce immigrants that are remarkable and make significant contributions to our country. A high percentage of those immigrants have college degrees and when they get here they create businesses and jobs.”

U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, is seeking to censure President Donald Trump for his remarks denigrating Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The remarks were reportedly uttered by the president during a meeting that took place at the White House on Jan. 11. U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have confirmed that the president used the derogatory term to describe the developing nations. The censure is in order, Richmond said, because the “president’s bigoted fearmongering is not acceptable and his remarks completely warrant total condemnation.”

The U.S. Congress has the right to censure those who work in the executive branch of government but it is largely a symbolic gesture. Richmond said, “We will be asking the Republican leadership to bring our resolution of censure up for swift consideration and approval.”

“Congress must speak with one voice in condemning these offensive and anti-American remarks,” he said. “There is no excuse for it.”

U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) have gone on record supporting the censure.

In addition to Richmond, CBC members attending the news conference were Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Al Lawson (D-Fla.), Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.), Val Demings (D-Fla.), Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), Alma Adams (D-N.C.) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas).

In response to a question by the {AFRO}, Richmond said that there was a discussion on a boycott of Trump’s State of the Union address. “We talked about it,” Richmond said. “There are some who believe that we should do it while there are others who believe that it will just give more publicity to the president. Some just said they won’t show up.

“Forty-eight members run the gamut. As a body, we have not decided on whether we will boycott as of yet.”

Richmond said the odds are against the censure passing, given that the House is majority Republican but they will press on. “If the chair [Speaker of the House] rules against bringing the censure to the floor, we will appeal the ruling of the chair,” he said. “We have creative devices that will help us accomplish what we want.”

The last time the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) boycotted a State Of The Union address was in January 1971. President Nixon refused to meet with the CBC and their boycott of the address got widespread attention. Nixon soon met with the CBC after that and the organization got concessions from him on social services, criminal justice and affirmative action issues.