House Democrats Delay Vote on Anti-Hate Resolution

ALEXANDRIA, VA - APRIL 27: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during an event at Northern Virginia Community College April 27, 2018 in Alexandria, Virginia. Pelosi and Democratic leaders unveiled the newest plank of their economic agenda, 'A Better Deal: Tools to Succeed in the 21st Century' during the …
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House Democrat leadership on Thursday delayed a scheduled vote to make “minor tweaks” to a resolution condemning various forms of hate in response to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) latest antisemitic outburst sparked turmoil within the party.

Politico’s Heather Caygle reports some groups, including the Hispanic Caucus, were not adequately represented in the resolution. Caygle notes that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) raised concerns that anti-Latino bigotry was left out of the measure.

House Democrats were slated to unveil a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and other variations of bigotry against minorities as they try to end the swirling controversy around Omar’s comments against Israel. The House is still expected to vote on the measure Thursday.

A draft of the seven-page document condemns anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim bigotry “as hateful expressions of intolerance” contradictory to “the values and aspirations” of the United States and “rejects the perpetuation of anti-Semitic stereotypes” worldwide.

Earlier Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refused to call on Omar to apologize, claiming the freshman congresswoman didn’t realize her controversial statements about Israel would sound antisemitic.

Omar’s comment that a pledge of “allegiance” to the Jewish state is expected of lawmakers sparked enough outrage to split Democrats and throw their agenda into question. Some Democrats wanted a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, while others said that would have unfairly singled out the Minnesota Democrat. Of Omar, Pelosi said, “I do not believe she understood the full weight of her words. These words have a history and a cultural impact.”

Earlier this year, Omar apologized for a 2012 tweet in which she said Israel had “hypnotized” America. And last month, she apologized for suggesting that members of Congress support Israel because they are paid to do so.

That earned her stern rebukes from Pelosi and House Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY), among others. This time, Engel declared that Omar’s suggestion about divided loyalties was a “vile” stereotype that had no place on his committee.

Top House Republicans, namely House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) called on Democrats throw Omar off Engel’s panel. However, there was no sign of that happening. “She continues to display anti-Semitic remarks, comments, these are her beliefs. And so if they really are serious about addressing the problem, Nancy Pelosi has to remove her from the Foreign Affairs Committee,” Scalise told Fox News’s America’s Newsroom on Tuesday. “She is literally getting intelligence briefings on foreign policy of the United States, including our relationship with Israel as she makes these kinds of comments, where she thinks any support of Israel is denouncing your own nationality,” added the House Republican Minority Whip. “It’s a deep-rooted belief that shows the core of her convictions.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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