(WVUE) - President Donald Trump's actions over the past 24 hours have further ticked off congressional Democrats, including Congressman Cedric Richmond
of New Orleans, but a high-ranking GOP leader from the area is pushing back.
"I would hope that the Senate actually does their job and Senate Democrats that are trying to block President Trump's agenda would
actually allow him to carry out his job," said GOP House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Metairie.
In a strongly worded statement released Tuesday morning, Richmond, a Democrat who is also the new chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, accuses Trump of childish behavior after the president abruptly fired the nation's acting attorney general for expressing concerns about the legality of the president's recent executive order on immigration and refugees.
Richmond released the following statement:
"Last night, the president demonstrated once again his inability to exercise the maturity required to be leader of the free world. In an Orwellian gesture of crushing dissent at the nation's top law enforcement agency, the White House fired Sally Yates simply for pointing out the unlawfulness of the Administration's recent Executive Orders restricting immigration and travel from Muslim countries.
"In light of the White House's amateurish brand of decision-making and the dire need for competent leadership in this Administration, I urge the Senators on relevant committees to vote against Sen. Sessions, Rep. Price and Mrs. DeVos. These nominees are uniquely unqualified to lead the agencies they have been nominated to lead. If their nominations advance to the full Senate, America will be one step closer to an Attorney General who is hostile to civil rights, a doctor seeking to deny healthcare coverage to the poor and middle class as HHS Secretary, and an Education Secretary who wants to terminate the public education model. Each of these candidates would be a disaster for all Americans if confirmed, and I urge my Senate colleagues to be courageous rather than complicit.
"The president should remember that he lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, recognize that he lacks a mandate, and get serious about governing the United States of America. Thus far he and his co-president Steve Bannon have already proven that they are not up to the job. Only the Senate can serve as a check on the rash and amateurish decision making employed by this White House. I urge the relevant committees to show the White House how adults govern and reject these disgraceful nominees."
"At this point, in Barack Obama's tenure as president, in his first term, just in his first week, Barack Obama had 11 of his 15 Cabinet secretaries already confirmed and working for the American people," said Scalise.
"The bluntness of Congressman Richmond's communication calling the president immature is really more evidence that the tenor and tone in Washington have taken a sharp turn for the worse in the past 10 days," said FOX 8 political analyst Mike Sherman.
At a press conference attended by Scalise and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, Ryan backed the president's stance on vetting people traveling from the seven majority Muslim nations.
"So what is happening is something that we support which is, we need to pause, we need to make sure that vetting standards are up to snuff so we can guarantee the safety and the security of our country. That is what this does," Ryan said.
But in recent days, some Republicans have criticized the executive order in light of the confusion and dozens of people who were detained at U.S. airports.
"We're already seeing some moderate republicans, particularly, Sen. McCain and Sen.Lindsey Graham in the Senate break with the president. He's awfully close to having his legislative agenda being held up," said Sherman.
And while Richmond didn't mince words in attacking President Trump's decision, it's unclear how his words with play with the White House.
"It's clear that Cedric Richmond is not trying to earn any brownie points with this president. He's got a couple of responsibilities - one to his constituents, the other is the chair of the very prominent Congressional Black Caucus that he now leads, so unlikely that Congressman Richmond would be able to advance too much legislation with the Democrats in the minority, but clearly he's not looking to cozy up to this president, at all," said Sherman.