By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – President Donald Trump’s war of words with Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and three other freshman congresswomen of color is escalating.

CBS News reports the U.S. House passed a resolution condemning the president’s tweets as racist with a vote of 240 to 187. Four Republicans — Reps. Will Hurd of Texas, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Fred Upton of Michigan and Susan Brooks of Indiana — joined House Democrats in voting for the measure.

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Meanwhile, the president has been doubling down on his attacks. Again, he’s taken to Twitter to blast the four congresswomen, known as “The Squad,” demanding to know why Congress is not voting to condemn their actions.

The president also defended his prior tweets.

The four freshman representatives held a news conference Monday to condemn the president.

“He’s launching a blatantly racist attack on four duly elected members of the United States of House of Representatives, all of whom are women of color,” Omar said before adding that Trump should be impeached.

Throughout the day Tuesday, many Republicans have remained silent on how they would vote on the resolution, that’s wording states that the House of Representatives, “strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”

“What it does for Republicans is it puts them in an increasingly uncomfortable situation,” Hamline University professor David Schultz said. “This is actually going to force them to take a stand on do you support the President of the United States.”

The ongoing battle between the president and the four congresswomen continues to elevate their national profile and that hasn’t hurt their fundraising. New figures for Omar show in the second quarter of last year she raised $600,000 — a sizeable amount for a freshmen in a heavily Democratic district.

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WCCO-TV reached out to the three Republican Minnesota members of Congress — Reps. Tom Emmer, Jim Hagedorn and Pete Stauber — and they provided these comments:

Rep. Emmer:

This is the second time in six months House democrats are considering legislation to condemn the remarks of elected officials rather than govern. We still have no tangible solutions to address our growing national debt, a looming pension crisis, our antiquated infrastructure, and millions living without access to broadband. This back-and-forth is about politics, nothing more, and I hope Congress will start to worry less about “tweets” and more about actual solutions to improve the lives of Americans.

Rep. Hagedorn:

What is currently playing out in Congress and the media right now is, unfortunately, much more about politics than policy.

The American people face a stark choice between two futures. The first future is proposed by the socialists in the Democratic Party. It’s a future that blames America first and champions the destructive policies of open borders, socialized medicine, The Green New Deal, higher taxes and taxpayer-provided health care for people who enter our country illegally.

The second future is the future embraced by those who recognize that the United States of America has done more for the world than the rest of the world has done for us. We must keep America’s goodness, including the liberation of hundreds and hundreds of millions of people, in perspective.

I will continue working with my colleagues in Washington to promote a military and foreign policy of Peace Through Strength, secure borders and legal merit-based immigration, reduced regulations and taxes, patient-centered medical care, U.S. energy independence, promotion of the greatest agriculture in the world and protection of our God-given, Constitutional rights.

Working to resolve problems for average American workers and families, not petty, political posturing, is and will remain my primary focus.

Rep. Stauber:

Just last week, four freshman colleagues of mine publicly accused Speaker Pelosi of racism. This week, these same Members are accusing the President of racism. I did not run for Congress to get distracted by the name-calling happening on both sides of the aisle. I was elected to Congress to find solutions to the most pressing issues facing Minnesotans; including protecting Social Security and Medicare, deploying rural broadband, investing in our crumbling infrastructure, and growing the economy for the middle class. I am already on the record voting for resolutions condemning divisive language; and I hope Washington, DC, and all Americans, can move forward to advance our exceptional nation.

Rep. Collin Peterson, a conservative Democrat who represents northwestern Minnesota, issued a statement saying: “Leaders should be focused on solving problems and not engaging in divisive attacks.”

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Peterson has not said how he will vote on the resolution. In 2016 the president beat Hillary Clinton in his district 61% to 31%. Other Minnesota House Democrats are expected to vote to condemn Trump.

Esme Murphy