Democratic Leaders Postpone Vote on Anti-Semitism Resolution

Posted March 07, 2019

The House Democratic Caucus is in a knot over Ilhan Omar and the possible resolution condemning anti-Semitism that she elicited.

House Democrats blew up at each other Wednesday over intra-party attacks and a proposed resolution viewed as a rebuke to Rep. Ilhan Omar's (D., Minn.) latest anti-Semitic remarks, exposing a divide in the caucus.

House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn of SC said he wants the resolution to be "anti-hate" to reject all forms of bigotry and prejudice.

Pelosi criticized the media and said the Omar issue would be resolved, according to the Post. She pushed back in tweets at one senior Democratic colleague, Rep. Nita Lowey of NY, the powerful chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee. In February, she apologized for suggesting that members of Congress support Israel because they are paid to do so.

Rep. Jahana Hayes of CT complained that Pelosi left Democrats out of the loop on the resolution's details.

But moments later, multiple House members stood up to challenge the decision - endorsed by Pelosi and the rest of the House Democratic leadership - to move forward with a resolution condemning religious hatred.

The Democratic leadership originally crafted a resolution for a vote this week that did not mention Omar by name but broadly condemned anti-Semitism, including accusations that Jews have "dual loyalty" to Israel. We have said that before.

The California Republican said he heard on the floor Tuesday evening that Democrats can't pass their antisemitism resolution as written, even though it is not much different from antisemitism language Republicans got Democrats to agree to add to an unrelated measure on U.S. involvement in Yemen.

But other lawmakers, including a group of Jewish members who pushed to pass the resolution focused on anti-Semitism, remain convinced that the House needs to act in response to Omar's remarks.

Noting the poster in West Virginia that linked Omar with the 9/11 attacks and claiming there were other anti-Muslim attacks targeting Omar, Pelosi continued, "I don't think this is just about comments by Congresswoman Omar, which I do not think were intentionally anti-Semitic ..."

"One of the things that is hurtful about the extent to which reprimand is sought of Ilhan is that no one seeks this level of reprimand when members make statements about Latinx + other communities (during the shutdown, a GOP member yelled "Go back to Puerto Rico!" on the floor)", Ocasio-Cortez said in series of tweets.

He noted that Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) was stripped of his committee memberships after he made controversial comments about white supremacy, saying there's "no doubt" that there's a double standard at play. "I mean, these are the guys who are trafficking in 'globalists, ' 'Soros, ' all this language that helped inspire the guy who walked into a synagogue in October and murdered 11 Jewish worshippers".

At one point during the meeting, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., a close Pelosi ally, pleaded with Democrats: "Everyone stop tweeting!" I think this is a time of testing for the House of Representatives.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY and Rashida Tlaib of MI, both tweeted that it was not right to single out Omar given comments by other lawmakers, especially Republicans, that they see as bigoted or prejudiced. "It's something that we shouldn't question at all".