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Pocan Calls on Congress to Stand Up to Trump’s Racist Rhetoric

Jan 17, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC (January 17, 2018)U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (WI-02) today delivered remarks on the House Floor, calling on Members of Congress to speak out against President Trump’s racist rhetoric. During his remarks, Pocan noted that Speaker Paul Ryan took 19 hours and 53 minutes to respond to the President’s comments, blandly describing the racist remarks as “unfortunate” and “unhelpful.”

Click here to watch the full video.

Here are the remarks, as delivered:

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In bizarre Washington news of the last week, the raging controversy is whether the President of the United States referred to other countries and a continent as s---holes or s---houses.

As if either word means a drop of difference, especially when you insult other nations in the world as our President did.

Equally worrisome is that the leadership of this branch of government, the U.S. House of Representatives – a co-equal branch of government – has been complicit or silent about how to respond to the comments made by our President.

In fact, Speaker Paul Ryan took 19 hours and 53 minutes to respond – and with all that time – enough time to have driven from Washington to Dallas, Texas, or to watch the movie Jaws nine times – what was his stinging and necessary rebuke after that much time and thought?


The Speaker said the president’s comments were “unfortunate” and “unhelpful.” Look, it’s unfortunate when you walk outside and step in a puddle of water. This was more like walking into a global sized pile of s---.

We are not on the staff of the White House. We are a co-equal branch of government. And it’s about time we acted like it.

Saying nothing or basically nothing is unacceptable. We need to put our country before our political party.

Calling other countries, and even a continent, names like s---holes or s---houses puts our service members and our Americans overseas at greater risk. And weak words or silence makes Congress complicit with the President’s racist rhetoric.

And by the way, people outside of the beltway just think Congress is full of s---. Everyone else had the proper response to the President’s comments. That they were just pure “BS.”

I yield back.