Jim McGovern’s Anti-Trump Remarks Cause Uproar in House

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Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) had his remarks about former President Donald Trump’s New York criminal cases removed from the congressional record on Wednesday after Republicans expressed anger over his statements. This marks the second time in as many weeks that House proceedings have devolved into chaos.

The Rules Committee ranking member voiced his opinions during the debate on GOP bills regarding cryptocurrency and noncitizen voting, claiming that Republicans were using these bills to divert attention from Trump and his trial in New York.

“They don’t want to talk about the fact that the leader of their party is on trial for covering up hush money payments to a pornography star for political gain, not to mention three other criminal felony prosecutions he’s facing,” McGovern stated.

Rep. Jerry Carl (R-AL), serving as speaker pro tempore to oversee the debates, reminded members to “refrain from engaging in personalities towards presumed nominees for the office of the president.”

McGovern then expressed disbelief that he was reprimanded for stating facts rather than opinions, while Republicans who called the trial a “sham” were not criticized.

As McGovern and Carl discussed whether the Massachusetts Democrat had breached rules, McGovern took the opportunity to criticize the functioning of the GOP-led chamber.

“It’s OK to say the jury is rigged, but — it’s OK to say the court is corrupt but not that Trump is corrupting the rule of law,” McGovern remarked.

“In this Republican-controlled House, it’s OK to talk about the trial, but you have to call it a sham,” McGovern added.

Rep. Erin Houchin (R-IN) demanded that McGovern’s words be stricken from the congressional record, causing over an hour of pause in proceedings while Carl, McGovern, and Houchin consulted with their teams.

Carl later reiterated that the prohibition on House members insulting sitting presidents extends to presumptive presidential nominees. Members may critique a candidate’s policies, but it is a “breach of order” to refer to a candidate in “personally offensive” terms, “whether by actually accusing or by merely insulting.”

Outside the House chamber, McGovern told reporters this incident represented a “double standard.”

“They go to extreme measures to protect Trump, in any way they can, and they’re extremely sensitive,” McGovern said regarding Republicans. “Read what I said. I didn’t say he was guilty of anything. I just mentioned what he was charged with, and that caused this uproar. That’s unfortunate.”

“I think they’ll keep trying to find ways to silence people like me because I must be hitting a nerve,” McGovern stated.

When asked if he would repeat his comments, he replied, “Don’t be surprised.”

Houchin, however, disagreed with McGovern’s interpretation of the incident, calling it an “unfair characterization.”

“He did much more than list out the counts,” Houchin said. “That’s an unfair characterization of what he did in the chamber. It did violate decorum, absolutely, which is why I moved to strike his words.”

“It’s one thing for Republicans to say it’s a sham trial. He — that’s not personally attacking someone, which Mr. McGovern absolutely did,” Houchin added.

This is the latest clash between Republicans and Democrats during House proceedings. Last week, a House Oversight hearing descended into chaos, with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) trading barbs with Reps. Jasmine Crockett (D-TX) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

At one point, Greene said, “I think your fake eyelashes are messing up your reading” to Crockett, angering Ocasio-Cortez, who demanded the Georgia Republican apologize and have the words removed from the record.

Rachel Schilke
Rachel Schilke
Congress Reporter.

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