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Congressman Cleaver's Statement On Today's Floor Debate

Jul 16, 2019
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – United States Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) released the following statement after relinquishing the chair during today’s floor debate, while presiding over the debate on the House resolution to condemn the President's tweets:

“I want to thank Leader Hoyer for assuming the chair and reading the parliamentarian’s ruling following my abdication. Like the vast majority of Americans, I’ve grown increasingly frustrated with the childish rancor of our public discourse. Our inability to conduct ourselves in a civil and respectable fashion has paralyzed the most powerful government in the history of the world, and for what? A 10-second soundbite on prime time news and a few thousand twitter followers?

If this is what our government has come to, then we are in serious trouble as a nation. My frustration reflects that of my constituents and the American people as a whole. I have spent my entire life working with people of all faiths and stripes in an effort solve real-world problems with concrete solutions, but never have we been this divided and this unwilling to listen to countering opinions or accept objective truths. If we’re going to solve the cataclysmic challenge of climate change, the prodigious problem of income inequality or the evasive challenge of equal justice under the law, it is going to take all of us, Democrat and Republican, liberal and conservative, men and women, elders and youth.

I have unshakeable and eternal faith in what we can accomplish as a people, but we can only overcome these challenges as a union. I truly believe American democracy is the greatest experiment ever conducted by a society. However, a house divided against itself cannot stand, regardless of how strong the foundation. I call on all of my colleagues and all of America to listen more and talk less, to show compassion for those who are in pain, and to resist the temptation to fight when others wish to escalate.”



Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee; Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy; member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress; member of the Committee on Homeland Security; and a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. For more information, please contact Matthew Helfant at 202-225-4535 or A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available here.