Sheila Jackson Lee: Disagreement over debt ceiling due to Obama’s race

Alec Jacobs Contributor
Font Size:

Just when you thought you’d heard it all in the debt ceiling debate.

Friday on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, Texas Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee gave her assessment of the debate. The reason Republicans aren’t negotiating and aren’t willing to compromise on the debt ceiling, she said, is because of Obama’s race. (Congressional bosses from Hell: Sheila Jackson Lee)

“I am particularly sensitive to the fact that only this president, only this president, only this one has received the kind attacks and disagreements and inability to work,” she said. “Only this one.”

Jackson Lee acknowledged that Republicans have a majority in the House, and that it means sometimes Democrats will lose fights in the Congress. “It’s all right to agree or disagree on the balanced budget amendment. It’s all right to talk about how we’re going to appropriate … It’s all right to have that disagreement, that’s the give and take of democracy.”

But it wasn’t long before she pulled the race card back out. “I do not understand what I think is the maligning and maliciousness [directed at] this president. Why is he different? And in my community, that is the question that we raise. In the minority community, that is the question that is being raised. Why is this president being treated so disrespectfully?”

The representative then took a swipe at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), implying that his talk about making sure President Obama is a one-term president has to do with race: “Why does the leader of the Senate continually talk about [how] his job is to bring the president down, to make sure he’s unelected? It’s 2011, it’s not 2012, you need to play those politics in 2012, not now.”

RealClearPolitics.com has video of Jackson Lee’s floor speech here.