This post has been updated.
The House of Representatives has blocked consideration of a resolution calling on Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) to apologize for not immediately “doing away” with a rock bearing the controversial name of his family’s West Texas hunting camp, “Niggerhead.”
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) on Thursday morning introduced the privileged resolution, a move that would have put House Republican lawmakers in an uncomfortable position if the chamber were to hold a vote on the measure.
But the House voted 231-to-173 Thursday afternoon to reject the measure on procedural grounds. All 230 Republicans present voted in favor of tabling the resolution, while all but one Democrat -- Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) -- voted “no.”
With about two-dozen Congressional Black Caucus members and a few other Democrats as well as a handful of House Republicans and visitors in the House gallery looking on, Jackson rose for several minutes and read the text of his resolution condemning Perry.
The resolution was prompted by a Washington Post story on Oct. 2 in which Post reporter Stephanie McCrummen first reported on the Perry hunting camp. Recent polls suggest the imbroglio could blunt Perry’s momentum in the GOP presidential primary.
Perry’s camp has questioned the validity of the Post report and has maintained that the rock bearing the hunting camp’s racially insensitive name was painted over decades ago.
The Jackson resolution calls the name of the hunting camp “morally offensive” and cites businessman Herman Cain as “the only Republican presidential candidate to criticize Governor Rick Perry for being ‘insensitive’ when the word was not immediately condemned;” the text of the resolution also “remind(s) Herman Cain that the word is not only ‘insensitive,’ but is also ‘offensive.’”
The resolution also states that when asked about the name of the camp, Perry “said the word on the rock is an offensive name that has no place in the modern world – implying that it may have been okay and had an appropriate place in that community when he was growing up.”
The measure then resolves that the House “calls on Governor Rick Perry to apologize for not immediately doing away with the rock,” to “condemn the use of this word as being totally offensive and inappropriate at anytime and anyplace in United States history” and to “list the names of all lawmakers, friends, and financial supporters he took with him on his hunting trips at ‘Niggerhead.’”
Also included in the measure is a provision calling on Perry’s 2012 presidential rivals “who have not yet made strong statements of outrage over the rock that contained the word, to do so.”
Perry’s camp did not immediately respond to the resolution.
A video of Jackson reading the text of the resolution Thursday morning on the House floor can be found here, courtesy of C-SPAN.
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