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The U.S. House of Representatives erupted during deliberation over a vote to condemn President Donald Trump for a tweet that Democrats called racist.
Republicans accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) of violating the legislative rules when she criticized the tweets and statements from the president as “disgraceful and disgusting.”
When challenged about her comments, Pelosi said that she had cleared her comments through the House parliamentarian and walked away. Republicans demanded that her comments be taken down.
“We don’t ever ever wanna pass up, it seems, an opportunity to escalate, and that’s what this is,” responded Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), who was presiding over the chamber.
“I dare anybody to look at any of the footage to see if there was any unfairness. But unfairness is not enough, because we want to just fight!” he added.
So here's the video of Rep. Emanuel Cleaver abruptly tossing the gavel onto the dais and announcing "I abandon the chair." pic.twitter.com/XBbmLJk97U
— Andrew Clark (@AndrewHClark) July 16, 2019
“I abandon the chair!” Cleaver said dramatically as he banged the gavel and walked away angrily.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) tweeted that Pelosi was in violation of the rules, and then decried the Democrats for ignoring the rules.
“Speaker Pelosi just broke the rules of the House, and is no longer permitted to speak on the floor of the House for the rest of the day,” he tweeted.
BREAKING NEWS —> Speaker Pelosi just broke the rules of the House, and is no longer permitted to speak on the floor of the House for the rest of the day.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) July 16, 2019
“The facts are clear: the House rules of order and decency were broken by the very person tasked with upholding them—the Speaker of the House,” added McCarthy. “But just now, Democrats voted to ignore the rules and give special treatment to one of their own.”
The vote to condemn the president’s comments continued and passed 240-187 along mostly partisan lines.
The measure will almost certainly fail in the Republican-controlled Senate.