Majority Democrats in the House on Thursday rejected an attempt by Republicans to introduce legislation to censure Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for tearing up a copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address.
On a party-line vote, the House rejected the measure 224 to 193, with all Democrats voting against it and all Republicans voting in favor of it.
Following the president’s nationally televised address Tuesday evening, Pelosi ripped up her copy of it, later confirming that she did so as a symbolic gesture to protest against what she called a “manifesto of mistruths.”
Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), who sponsored and helped lead the resolution, said that regardless of the speaker’s “personal feelings,” Pelosi had a “responsibility to conduct herself with civility as the presiding officer representing the House of Representatives.”
In addition, she argued, Pelosi is the speaker of the House—not Democrats.
For her part, Pelosi defended her actions.
“I tore up a manifesto of mistruths,” she told reporters Thursday. “It was necessary to get the attention of the American people to say, ‘This is not true. And this is how it affects you.'”
“He didn’t want to shake hands,” Pelosi added. “I went right through that thing. I knew what was coming.”
Some criticized Pelosi for failing to property introduce Trump.
“First, Pelosi dropped the traditional greeting before the start of the address, ‘Members of Congress, I have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the president of the United States,’” wrote Georgetown law school Prof. Jonathan Turley in a column for The Hill.
He also called on Pelosi to resign for her act.
“That act was more important to Pelosi than preserving the tradition of her office. In doing so, she forfeited the right to occupy that office,” he added.
“If Pelosi cannot maintain the dignity and neutrality of her office at the State of the Union, she should resign as the speaker of the House of Representatives.”