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Smucker, Perry vote against resolution to censure Trump over racist tweets

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
Republican incumbent candidates Scott Perry, left, and Lloyd Smucker greet each other during an appearance by Vice President Mike Pence who rallied at the Lancaster Airport in Lititz Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. Bill Kalina photo

The two U.S. House lawmakers representing York County voted against a resolution on Tuesday censuring President Donald Trump's racist tweets targeting four Democratic congresswomen.

The House voted 240-187, mostly along party lines, to condemn the president's Sunday tweets telling four of the most progressive lawmakers in the House — all of whom are women of color — to "go back" to where they came from amid an intra-party quarrel between the women and House Democratic leadership.

"Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came," Trump tweeted. "Then come back and show us how it is done."

Four Republicans, including Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas — the only African American GOP lawmaker in the House — voted for the resolution.

But that's not the case for lawmakers representing York County, including Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-Lancaster, who provided a statement on Monday that mirrored closely those of many other House Republicans condemning the tweets but then voted against the House's censure of the president. 

"Sometimes I disagree with my colleagues in the House on policy, especially the Democrat majority’s veer towards socialism and recent left-wing approach on national security, immigration and healthcare," Smucker wrote. "These debates are an intended function of Congress. However, racially-motivated statements or behavior is totally unacceptable and unbecoming of our great nation."

Rep. Scott Perry, R-Carroll Township, who on Monday didn't address the tweets and instead dismissed the "socialist leaders," also voted against the resolution.

"I’m disappointed to find that many in the media are just awakening to the anti-American and anti-Semitic comments uttered consistently by some socialist leaders," Perry wrote on Facebook. "I invite everyone to join me as we continue strengthening our country and communities."

The president's Sunday tweets targeted freshman Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.; Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.; Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.; and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.

Omar is the only one who was born outside of the U.S. Her family came to the U.S. as refugees from Somalia in 1997. She became a U.S. citizen in 2000.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., took to the House floor on Tuesday to call Trump's comments racist and xenophobic.

Republicans attempted to strike the comments from the record, citing House rules. But Democrats used their majority to keep Pelosi's remarks in the record.

Unlike Smucker, Perry already has two Democrats running for his seat in 2020, including state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, who is expected to put up a strong fight against the four-term incumbent.

Tom Brier, an attorney and author from Hershey, is also running. Both candidates said via social media that Trump's remarks were racist.

The four women have already held a news conference in response to Trump's tweets on Monday, during which they took turns condemning what they said was a blatantly racist attack styled in white nationalist rhetoric.

As GOP leaders assured the public that their opposition to the women was because of policy and not race or religion, Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, "Those tweets were NOT racist. I don’t have a racist bone in my body!"

Trump's own party also accused him of making racist remarks in 2016 after the president questioned U.S. Judge Gonzalo Curiel's ability to oversee a lawsuit related to Trump University because of his Mexican heritage.

Then-House Speaker Paul Ryan called the remarks the "textbook definition of a racist comment," but he continued to support the president.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.