NJ lawmakers in DC propose action against Trump, Confederate statues
WASHINGTON — Federal lawmakers from New Jersey are reacting with specific actions to the violent demonstrations in Charlottesville and the reactions bt President Donald Trump.
The president's Tuesday remarks, in which he blamed "all sides" for the protests over the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, have upset most members of the state's bipartisan delegation.
U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J. 12th District, joined New York congressman Jerrold Nadler and Washington state congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, both Democrats, in calling for a censure of Trump over Tuesday's comments.
"President Donald Trump has surrounded himself with, and cultivated the influence of, senior advisors and spokespeople who have long histories of promoting white nationalist, alt-Right, racist and anti-Semitic principles and policies within the country," reads the resolution. He is urged to "fire any and all White House advisors who have urged him to cater to the alt-Right movement in the United States."
The House can censure one of its own members, a judge, cabinet member or the president as authorized by Article I, Section 5, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution. It is considered a formal statement of disapproval but does not mean the subject must leave office.
Andrew Jackson is the only president to have been censured. The Whig Party in 1834 approved a censure of the Democrat over documents he withheld regarding his actions to defund the Bank of the United States. It was expunged in 1837 when Democrats won control of the Senate.
Watson Coleman, who boycotted Trump's inauguration, also tweeted that "as @realDonaldTrump continue to rubber stamp our nation's sordid history of hate, Congress must stand together in opposition. #CensureTrump."
She will not have the support of U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J. 7th District.
"I do not support that," the Central Jersey congressman told New Jersey 101.5's Bill Spadea on Thursday morning.
Lance, however, has criticized the president's comments.
"I thought the president had a strong statement on Monday and was disappointed with his remarks on Tuesday," he told Spadea
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., tweeted on Wednesday that he would be "introducing a bill to remove Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol building.
"This is just one step. We have much work to do," he said. He did not offer specifics or an actual bill.
ABC News reported that there are nearly a dozen monuments honoring Confederate soldiers and politicians in the National Statuary Hall Collection. Each state contributes two statues to the collection.
U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J. 6th District, appears to support his effort in a response to a tweet from Trump bemoaning the removal of statues.
"Confederate statues do not define our culture, our commitment to equality and diversity do," Pallone tweeted.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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