House resolution blasting Perry ruled out of order
October 6th, 2011
05:09 PM ET
10 years ago

House resolution blasting Perry ruled out of order

Washington (CNN) – Illinois Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. offered a resolution on the floor of the House of Representatives Thursday that blasted Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry for his use of a hunting camp with a racially insensitive name.

Jackson Jr. asked that the resolution be considered under privilege, a house provision that would have guaranteed a vote within 2 legislative days. The resolution was ruled out of order because Perry was not a member of the House, a requirement in considering a bill under privilege.

The House resolution condemned Perry for hosting guests at a camp that is known "by the name painted in block letters across a large, flat rock standing upright at its gated entrance called 'Niggerhead.'"

A front-page story in the Washington Post first reported Perry's use of the hunting camp on Sunday. According to the story, Perry played host to friends, supporters, and fellow lawmakers at the secluded West Texas ranch. The post also reported that Perry attempted to deal with the offensive name by painting over the rock.

Perry's campaign was quick to reply to the story.

"A number of claims made in the story are incorrect, inconsistent, and anonymous, including the implication that Rick Perry brought groups to the lease when the word on the rock was still visible," Perry communications director Ray Sullivan said in a statement. "The one consistent fact in the story is that the word on the rock was painted over and obscured many years ago."

Jackson argued the measure deserved consideration and if it wasn't, the House would be "painting over a profound problem that exists in this nation."

"I personally would be offended that the Congress of the United States wouldn't understand the gravity of this resolution," Jackson Jr. said.

Later in his speech, Jackson Jr. said "for a governor of one of the great states of our nation to hunt at 'niggerhead ranch,' it's offensive and I think that am expressing the moral outrage of all Americans."

Freshman Republican Kevin Yoder of Kansas was the presiding officer during the debate and ruled that the measure didn't qualify as a House resolution because Perry is not a member of the House.

"The chair finds, therefore, that the resolution does not affect the 'rights of the House collectively, its safety, dignity or the integrity of it's proceedings,' within the meanings of Clause 1 of Rule 9 and therefore does not qualify as a question of the privileges of the House," Yoder said.

Jackson Jr. then appealed the ruling, a motion that Republicans then moved to table, and a 15-minute vote was taken on the motion to appeal.

The final vote on tabling the resolution was 231 yeas to 173 nays. Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar, once the Perry appointed Secretary of State in Texas, was the only Democrat to vote in the affirmative.

CNN's Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.

Filed under: Congress • Jesse Jackson Jr. • Rick Perry
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Don't count on tea baggers for support. They are not much into racial equality.

    October 6, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. RINO Bil

    Every time I think the Republicans are idiots (and a lot of them are) a Democrat, like JJJ in this case, shows me that they can be just as stupid and petty.

    October 6, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  3. Patriot Awesome

    I'm not a Perry fan by any means but this is such a non story. There are PLENTY of other reasons not to like Perry than some racist rock writing. Besides, if you're going to dislike someone for a racist past, Mitt's religion considered Black people to be inferior and cursed for 150 years up until 1978.

    October 6, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  4. diridi

    Rick Perry is a nasty Animal...o.k, He does not know a darn thing....

    October 6, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  5. Rickster

    lol...looks like Jesse Jackson Jr. is as stupid as his old man.

    October 6, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  6. Original Pechanga

    Gov. Perry appointed the FIRST black supreme court justice in Texas history. After 10 years as don't think this story would have come out?

    October 6, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  7. Wondering in 2011

    Painted over and obscured many years ago or done today; Does this absolve ones character?

    October 6, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  8. Christopher

    Right or wrong. Who cares? This is America and only Political Loyalty is virtuous.

    October 7, 2011 01:43 am at 1:43 am |