The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill to repeal President Donald Trump’s travel ban along partisan lines.
The measure, introduced by Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), passed 233 to 183, with Democrats voting in favor and Republicans voting in opposition.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said the bill, called the “National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act,” is meant to curb federal overreach.
“When the Trump administration issued its first version of the ban in January 2017, it was immediately apparent it was unconstitutional, discriminatory, and morally reprehensible. Its chaotic rollout undermined the cruelty of this policy,” he said on the House floor on Wednesday.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said the House essentially was wasting its time.
“We are spending our time with this bill that would limit it and make it more difficult for the president of the United States—any president, just because some people don’t like this president, they are going to make it harder for any president—to keep Americans safe,” he said on the floor. That includes “terrorists abroad or whether it’s for health pandemics that might break out again in the future,” he said. “This is lunacy.”
On Monday, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he would overturn Trump’s travel ban if he is elected in November.
“That fight was the opening barrage in what has been nearly four years of constant pressure and insults and attacks against Muslim American communities,” Biden said.
The measure is mostly symbolic, as it is not expected to be taken up by the GOP-controlled Senate.
After he was sworn in in 2017, Trump signed an executive order, officially titled “Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States,” that banned foreign nationals from seven terror-prone countries: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The ban was challenged in court several times before the Supreme Court upheld it in 2017.
Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report