Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) slammed Democrats during the second hearing for the Oversight Committee on Tuesday after they accused Republicans of being racist concerning illegal immigration and claimed they were using hearings to promote a “white nationalist conspiracy.”
The hearing focused on handling illegal immigration at the southern border. It was the second hearing on the issue and Democrats wasted no time in charging Republicans with “amplifying white nationalism.”
Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) heatedly defended the meeting, stating that it is the committee’s job to ensure that Congress addresses issues properly. The hearing was the first time that the panel questioned government workers who are responsible for securing the border.
Donalds wasn’t going to stand for the accusation by Democrats.
“Mr. Chairman, real quick, and I apologize, I know the proceedings of the committee room. Um, I’m just gonna cut to the chase. For my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who say we’re using this for white nationalism: Uh, I’m not doing that,” he said.
(Video Credit: Daily Mail)
“So, if you feel that strongly, come walk to this side of the room and let’s talk about it face-to-face,” he told Democrats. “But leave that kind of silly stuff for somebody else. Don’t bring that here today. This stuff is serious. I apologize, Mr. Chairman.”
Donalds’ comments were in response to a tweet from Democrats that Comer previously pointed out. Comer read the tweet out loud and stated that it was “out of decorum” for congressional rules.
“The oversight committee Democrats just tweeted out. It says ‘good morning and good luck to everyone except GOP oversight members who are using today’s hearing to amplify white nationalist conspiracy theories instead of a comprehensive solution to protect our borders and strengthen our immigration system.’ I mean, really? I don’t even know what to say about that,” Comer remarked.
This tweet is trash. Bring your facts to the hearing. Stop gaslighting. Our border is not secure! https://t.co/lGxNUYdmKN
— Byron Donalds (@ByronDonalds) February 7, 2023
“But just to remind everyone, the member decorum, the issues we’re debating are important ones that members feel deeply about. While vigorous disagreement is part of the legislative process, members are reminded that we must adhere to established standards of decorum and debate,” he warned. “It’s a violation of House rules and the rules of this committee to engage in personalities regarding other members or to question the motives of a colleague, so remarks of the type that we just saw in the tweet are not permitted by the rules and are not in keeping with the best traditions of our committee. So the chair will enforce these rules of decorum at all times, and I urge all members to be mindful of their remarks.”
The tweet was sent out by the official Democratic account for the House Oversight and Accountability Committee just ahead of a hearing with two senior Border Patrol agents concerning the ongoing catastrophe at the border.
Democrats on the Judiciary Committee made similar claims of racism against Republicans during their first hearing of the new Congress.
“The first hearing will showcase the racist tendencies of the extreme MAGA Republican wing of the party that seeks to close the border to refugees from places like Cuba and Venezuela,” Judiciary Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler declared in his opening remarks last week, according to the Daily Mail.
"The law did not change, Joe Biden decided not to follow the law." – @ByronDonalds pic.twitter.com/TNRHO2pbEM
— ForAmerica (@ForAmerica) February 7, 2023
“It almost makes me miss their usual obsession with conspiracy theories and the FBI,” he snarked. “I suspect this hearing is also an attempt to distract from the fact that Republicans have failed to pass any meaningful legislation in their first month in the majority.”
“I’ve been black for a long time, sir, so I get it,” Rep. Wesley Hunt (R-Texas) commented during questioning of El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego after he intimated the term “invasion” is racist. “I’ve been a minority in this country for a very long time. But this is actually not about race, this is actually an issue of public safety.”
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