Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond on Thursday introduced a resolution to censure President Donald Trump over what he contends is the president’s racist rhetoric referring to El Salvador, Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries.”
The resolution — which has more than 130 co-sponsors, including House Democratic leaders — calls on the House to publicly state its support for the nations Trump disparaged, censure and condemn the president for his statements, and demand he retract his comments and apologize.
At a news conference announcing the resolution alongside House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and other Democrats, Richmond (D-La.) said Trump’s controversial comments “should have never been made” and “were factually inaccurate.”
Richmond conceded, however, that the resolution isn’t “privileged,” meaning House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would have to agree to take it up in order for the chamber to hold a vote. It’s almost certain Ryan will not do so.
“If he doesn’t, then we will look at other ways to force a vote on it,” Richmond told reporters. “But the truth of the matter is the speaker should bring it up. Because if he doesn’t, then he is enabling and continuing to allow the president to perpetuate this hateful rhetoric, and at some point — whether you agree or disagree — I think it’s the speaker’s obligation to protect the dignity of the House.”
If Ryan refuses to allow a vote, Richmond said he and others would look for "creative" ways to force one.
Like most Republican leaders, Ryan hasn’t said much about the president’s reported comments, though he did acknowledge last week that they were “very unfortunate” and “unhelpful.” For Richmond, however, that wasn’t enough.
“It’s unfortunate when I miss my bus. Or it’s unfortunate when the airlines lose my luggage,” he said. “But when the president of the United States decides to call Africa, Haiti and El Salvador the words he used, that’s not unfortunate. That is wrong. That is disgusting. That is hurtful. There are a number of words for it, but unfortunate’s not one of them.”