The Democrat-led House of Representatives voted in favor of repealing the travel ban put into place by President Trump. The vote taken Wednesday passed by a vote of 233 – 183. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, presided over the vote.

Rep. Tlaib was so excited over the vote tally that she clapped when the results were announced. I bet Joe Biden was happy, too, if anyone bothered to tell him. Just a couple of days ago I wrote about his promise to Muslim voters that he would end the “Muslim ban” on his first day in office. The irony, of course, in Biden’s pander to Muslims is that Trump’s travel ban (not Muslim ban) expands on the travel ban put into place by President Obama during the days of the Obama-Biden administration.

She posted about her happiness on Twitter.

As with most votes in the House, this vote mostly fell along party lines.

The vote fell largely along party lines, with just two Republicans – Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.) and Will Hurd (Texas) – voting in favor. Republican-turned-independent Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.) voted against the measure. Fourteen Republicans did not vote.

Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), who introduced the original NO BAN Act last year, celebrated with a tweet: “And with 233 votes, history has been made as the House of Representatives votes to repeal Donald Trump’s hateful Muslim Ban! Now onto you, Senate.”

The NO BAN Act adds layers to the process of a travel ban. And people who feel “unlawfully harmed” would be able to sue in federal court.

Under the NO BAN Act, the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security would have to consult with Congress before imposing a restriction, otherwise, the directive would be immediately terminated. Individuals “unlawfully harmed” by such restrictions would be able to sue in federal court. Rep. Nadler referred to the travel ban as “one of the original sins of the Trump administration.” Orange Man bad, you know.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) described the bill, formally titled the “National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act,” as “critical legislation that will stop executive overreach, defend Congress’ role in establishing our nation’s immigration laws, and right one of the original sins of the Trump administration — the Muslim ban.”

“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.

Republicans argued against the bill for national security reasons, including against restrictions that may be necessary due to public health concerns like the coronavirus pandemic. The bill was originally scheduled for a vote in March but was pulled due to the coronavirus. That move shows that the ability for the president to use a travel ban for public health concerns is essential, and the Democrats know it.

“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, whether it’s from terrorists abroad or whether it’s for health pandemics that might break out again in the future. This is lunacy,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said during debate.

So, the language was added into the legislation to address pandemics like COVID-19. We know if this was during the previous administration, Democrats would have no problem with it. Democrats are playing politics with the coronavirus pandemic as they have from the very beginning.

The measure, however, includes language to ensure that it would not impact the ability of the US to respond to public health crises such as the coronavirus pandemic.
It grants the President temporary authority to suspend and impose restrictions on entry of anyone determined to “undermine the security or public safety of the United States,” a provision that Democrats say would allow for any necessary action to be taken to protect American citizens during the pandemic.

The original text of the legislation was also amended to further underscore that point by stating that its public safety provision “includes efforts necessary to contain a communicable disease of public health significance,” such as Covid-19.

“This would not prevent action in the case of a disease like Covid-19 where public health is threatened,” Chu said.

Democrats know that though the Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration’s first attempts at expanding Obama’s travel ban, in 2018, the Supreme Court upheld the third version of the travel ban. Yet, since there is an election coming, Democrats wanted to do some grandstanding on the subject and use a Muslim congresswoman to get their message out. It’s political theatre, as the Senate has no plans to take the matter up. Joe Biden will need those Muslim voters’ support in November, especially in Michigan, where Congresswoman Tlaib represents.