Wisconsin Split On Condemning 'Racist Trump Tweets'

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Washington, July 18, 2019 | comments
Scott Anderson

Voting strictly along party lines, Wisconsin's eight congressional representatives were split on whether to condemn a series of Twitter posts as racist in a resolution sent to the floor of the House on July 16.

The non-binding resolution, which was brought forward by House Democrats, was passed nearly along party lines. A total of 235 Democrats and four Republicans supported the resolution, while 187 Republicans opposed it. The resolution did not garner any opposition from Democrats. According to Govtrack, the resolution "appears to be the first time in history a President was officially condemned by a chamber of Congress."

At issue was a series of tweets Trump published on July 14, and directed at four Democratic congresswomen. They were not named in the President's social media messages, but have been understood to be Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib.

In an interview published in the Journal Times, First District Congressman Bryan Steil, a Republican, indicated he was tired of the infighting, but stopped short of condemning the Tweets as racist. Steil said: "His tweets are just not my style. I try to stay focused on the work, including securing the border. I think we need to work to achieve results for southeast Wisconsin, and the country, and avoid the negative back and forth."

In contrast, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, a Democrat, strongly condemned the President's Tweets. "We have a racist in the White House and these vile comments go beyond dog-whistling. Rep. Ilhan, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Pressley and Rep. Rashida work hard to make our country better as lawmakers and it terrifies our President, who is fueled by white nationalism and racial division," Moore said on Twitter this week.

The resolution states, in part:

That the House of Representatives

(1) Believes that immigrants and their descendants have made America stronger, and that those who take the oath of citizenship are every bit as American as those whose families have lived in the United States for many generations.

(2) Is committed to keeping America open to those lawfully seeking refuge and asylum from violence and oppression, and those who are willing to work hard to live the American Dream, no matter their race, ethnicity, faith, or country of origin; and

(3) Strongly condemns President Donald Trump's racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should "go back" to other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as "invaders," and by saying that Members of Congress who are immigrants (or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants) do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America.

How they voted:

No: 1st District, R Steil, Bryan
Aye: 2nd District, D Pocan, Mark
Aye: 3rd District, D Kind, Ron
Aye: 4th District, D Moore, Gwen
No: 5th District, R Sensenbrenner, James
No: 6th District, R Grothman, Glenn
No: 7th District, R Duffy, Sean
No: 8th District, R Gallagher, Mike

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