Jayapal, Nadler, Watson Coleman Respond to Speaker Ryan Calling Censure of President Trump “The Worst Thing We Could Do”

August 22, 2017
Press Release

Today, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), who authored the censure resolution introduced last week against President Trump for his comments about the violence in Charlottesville, issued the following statement in response to Speaker Paul Ryan saying that he will not support the censure, calling it the “worst thing we could do.”

Below is the joint statement issued by Reps. Nadler, Watson Coleman, and Jayapal:

“By reducing the resolution censuring President Trump for his Charlottesville comments to a ‘political food fight’, Speaker Ryan has exemplified what we should fear in any leader – the failure to speak out when morally compelled to take action.  In the wake of Charlottesville, Democrats and Republicans alike have been moved to reject the President’s ambivalent and wholly inadequate response to acts of domestic terrorism. Many have gone so far as to condemn any attempt to project a moral equivalency between white supremacists, the KKK and neo-Nazis, and those who gathered to protest against the ‘Unite the Right’ rally and the racist ideals it represents.  Yet Speaker Ryan remains silent, and continues to omit calling out the President directly for his morally repugnant statements. 

“President Trump called many of the participants in the ‘Unite the Right’ rally, “very fine people,” and Speaker Ryan’s remarks provide cover for an Administration that too often has engaged in dog-whistle politics.  If Speaker Ryan wishes to clearly and definitively separate the Republican Party from the bigoted and nationalist ideology and policies of these groups, and demonstrate that the President’s comments blaming “both sides” for the violence in Charlottesville were not only wrong but out of line with the ideals of this country, then he should get off the sidelines and stop blocking Congress from voting on this censure.  

“Our censure resolution will make it clear that the United States government does not align itself with the comments made by President Trump, and that those elected to represent the millions of Americans in the United States House of Representatives are vehemently opposed to the hate and ignorance that fuels racism and anti-Semitism.  History will judge us for how we acted in this moment.  If Congress does not send a clear message to the President, the world will see Congress as complicit and groups peddling in white supremacy, racism and anti-Semitism will feel vindicated and emboldened to continue down their path of hate and violence.”