Three House Democrats who want to censure President Trump said Tuesday House Speaker Paul Ryan is "morally compelled to take action."
Reps. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J., and Pramila Jayapal, D-Wa., introduced a measure that would censure Trump "for failing to immediately and specifically name and condemn the white supremacist, Ku Klux Klan, and neo-Nazi groups responsible for actions of domestic terrorism in Charlottesville, and for doubling-down on his comments by attempting to create a moral equivalency between white supremacists and those counter-protesting the ‘Unite the Right' rally."
At a televised "town hall" event aired by CNN on Monday, Ryan, R-Wis., did not endorse the censure resolution and called it "counterproductive" and akin to a "political food fight."
Ryan, who controls the House floor schedule, said the resolution would not help unite the country and would instead divide it.
Nadler, Coleman, and Pramila criticized Ryan's response in a statement.
"By reducing the resolution censuring President Trump for his Charlottesville comments to a ‘political food fight,' Speaker Ryan has exemplified what we should fear in any leader — the failure to speak out when morally compelled to take action," the three lawmakers said in the statement.
"In the wake of Charlottesville, Democrats and Republicans alike have been moved to reject the President's ambivalent and wholly inadequate response to acts of domestic terrorism. Many have gone so far as to condemn any attempt to project a moral equivalency between white supremacists, the KKK and neo-Nazis, and those who gathered to protest against the ‘Unite the Right' rally and the racist ideals it represents.
"Yet Speaker Ryan remains silent, and continues to omit calling out the President directly for his morally repugnant statements."
Ryan said Monday he believed Trump "messed up" in responding to unrest in Charlottesville when he blamed "both sides" for the violence rather than simply condemning the presence of white supremacists and neo-Nazis at the event.