House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN) introduced a bill on Tuesday that aims to target antisemitic hate crimes as the United States experiences a surge in attacks on Jews following a bloody 11-day war started by Hamas against Israel, Fox News reports.
The bill, entitled the Preventing Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes Act, would direct the Department of Justice to assign an official to speed up the review of reported anti-Semitic hate crimes over the next three years and would also mandate that the attorney general issue periodic reports to Congress.
Fox News adds:
McCarthy and Kustoff’s legislation would also remove the 10-year maximum penalty for federal hate crimes convictions if the offender has at least one prior conviction for a state or federal hate crime felony. Currently, the maximum is 10 years, unless the offense involves death, kidnapping, aggravated sexual abuse, or attempted murder.
McCarthy stated in an interview with Fox News:
Over the past several weeks a growing number of House Democrats wrongly blamed the violence in the Middle East on Israel. In fact, Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Cori Bush irresponsibly tried to delegitimize our closest ally in the region, calling it an ‘apartheid state.’ Within days, this same sentiment of bigotry spilled into several major U.S. cities. Graphic videos showed pro-Hamas mobs intentionally target random Americans simply because they were Jewish.
McCarthy called the rise in antisemitic attacks a contradiction to the “very essence of our nation’s core principles” and accused congressional Democrats of stoking the fames of hatred against Jews. The House GOP leader said:
Yet socialist Democrats continue to endorse and promote repulsive anti-Semitic rhetoric, while Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer refuse to unambiguously condemn the unhinged statements from members of their own party. This follows more than four years of abhorrent smears from Democrats, including then-candidate Biden and Whip Clyburn, who frequently equated President Trump and Republicans to Hitler and Nazis, diminishing the atrocities of the last century for cheap political talking points.
“In the face of rising anti-Semitism, we cannot turn a blind eye,” he added. “Jewish Americans deserve not just rhetorical support, but legislative action ensuring that perpetrators of these vile attacks are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. ”
In addition to McCarthy and Kustoff’s bill, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) plan to introduce a measure targeting antisemitism.
“Sen. Cotton and I are introducing new legislation to fight anti-Semitism,” McConnell said Tuesday. “Our bills support state and local law enforcement to ensure that bigoted thugs who are attacking Jewish Americans face the full force of our justice system.”