Pelosi was reading from a prepared statement when she claimed that President Donald Trump’s July 14 tweets were “racist.”
Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) called for Pelosi to rephrase her comments.
“I have cleared my remarks with the parliamentarian before I read them,” Pelosi said, before walking away.
“Can I ask the words be taken down?” Collins responded. “I make a point of order that the gentlewoman’s words are unparliamentary and be taken down.”
After a back-and-forth about Pelosi’s remarks, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo) grew impatient with both sides.
“We don’t ever, every want to pass up, it seems, an opportunity to escalate, and that’s what this is. I dare anybody to look at any of the footage and see if there was any unfairness. But unfairness is not enough because we want to just fight. I abandon the chair.”
Cleaver abruptly left the chair, which was soon occupied by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who found Pelosi’s remarks violated established rules.
“The words used by the gentlewoman from California contained an accusation of racist behavior on the part of the President,” Hoyer said. “The words should not be used in debate.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 16, 2019
He cited Chapter 29, Section 65.6 and the precedent of of May 15, 1984, referring to when Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) vied with Rep. Tip O’Neill (D-Mass.), who told Gingrich: “My personal opinion is this: You deliberately stood in that well before an empty House and challenged these people, and you challenged their Americanism, and it is the lowest thing I have ever seen in my thirty-two years in Congress.”
The presiding representative, or the parliamentarian, found the description of the “lowest” in violation of House rules and O’Neill’s words were struck from the record, reported Fox News.
The decision meant Pelosi could not speak on the House floor for a period of time. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) took to Twitter to say Pelosi would be unable to speak on the floor for the rest of the day.
“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,” he tweeted.
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. But just now, Democrats voted to ignore the rules and give special treatment to one of their own.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) July 16, 2019
231-190: House votes to restore Speaker Pelosi floor speaking privileges for rest of today on party line vote, lost when the chair (Majority Leader Hoyer) ruled her words calling the President’s remarks “racist” were out of order. Amash-I joined all Republicans in voting No. pic.twitter.com/nT2Suqx4UH
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) July 16, 2019
But the Democrat-controlled House soon voted twice—first to keep Pelosi’s words on the record and then to restore her speaking privileges. Pelosi appeared to violate another rule when she left the House floor while Democrats were deciding whether to find her in violation.
McCarthy reacted, saying, “Democrats voted to ignore the rules and give special treatment to one of their own.”
One Democrat representative told Fox: “We’re going to defend our Speaker.”
Pelosi told reporters she didn’t regret violating the rules.
“I stand by my statement. I’m proud of the attention that’s being called to it because what the president said was completely inappropriate against our colleagues, but not just against them, against so many people in our country,” she said.