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A service for political professionals · Friday, December 13, 2019 · 504,743,034 Articles · 3+ Million Readers

Hoyer Floor Remarks on a Resolution Condemning President Trump’s Racist Comments

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today condemning President Trump’s racist comments. Below is a link to the video and a transcript of his remarks:    
Click here to watch the full remarks.  
“This resolution is not about partisanship; it is about prejudice and the necessity to confront it.

“Mr. Speaker, my father was from Denmark. He was born and raised in Copenhagen, and came here as an adult in his twenties. I have a large extended family in Denmark. The President of the United States, Mr. Speaker, did not tell me to go back to Denmark. He did not tell the Speaker of this House, a woman proud of her Italian American heritage, to go back to Italy. He did not tell the Irish American members of this body to go back to Ireland – or tell those of German ancestry to go back to Germany.

“No, he told four women of color – three of whom are natural born citizens, born and raised in their home country of America – to ‘go back’ to their countries.

“This is their country, Mr. Speaker, I would tell the President. And it is the country of our colleague who came here as a refugee from Somalia. She endured hardships and arrived on our shores, like so many others, seeking freedom, safety, and opportunity. She is an American citizen, one who chose to give back to her community and our country through public service. This is her country.

“I will not speculate on this Floor about the motives or intentions of the President, but no one can dispute that the words he said and wrote were racist words – and have been called such by Republicans – with a long history of being used to demean, dismiss, and denigrate some American citizens as less than others, as not fully belonging in our country because of the color of their skin or the origin of their families.

“Mr. Speaker, to oppose this resolution is, in effect, saying the words were acceptable. They were not acceptable. Such words should never be acceptable from the leader of this country or, frankly, anybody else. They demean our Declaration of Independence; they demean our Constitution; and they demean our Pledge of Allegiance to ‘one nation… indivisible.’

“So, I urge this House to come together and support this resolution. No matter whether one supports this President or not, whether one believes he's a racist or not, vote for this resolution that condemns the words he spoke. They hurt. They are not American. They are not us. The sentiment was not one we ought to espouse.

“And I say to the President, Mr. Speaker, if I were speaking to him, the next time you wish to denigrate and demean those who came here or the children and grandchildren of immigrants: say it to me. Say it to all of us in this House. Say it to every descendent of immigrants.

“Express the sentiment of the House of Representatives that this is not the conversation that we have in America. We lift our lamp beside the golden door. Let us keep that flame bright.”

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