Dems Attempt To Show Unity After Delay Of Anti-Semitism Resolution

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Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Democrats attempted to appear unified Wednesday after their leadership announced it was unclear when their resolution condemning anti-Semitism would reach the floor for a vote.

The non-binding resolution would follow another seemingly anti-Semitic remark by Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, though it would likely not include her name. The resolution, nevertheless, is seen as a veiled rebuke of her comments.

New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended Omar on Wednesday, saying, “Well, I think my real concern here is that there’s a disturbing pattern of these remarks coming from the Republican Party. It’s not treated the same way,” Ocasio-Cortez told reporters.

When a reporter told her that Republican Iowa Rep. Steve King was condemned by Congress in January for remarks he made to The New York Times about white supremacy, Ocasio-Cortez alluded to the number of years King had been in Congress before the House voted to formally rebuke him. (RELATED: Steve King Votes For House Disapproval Resolution Rebuking Him)

“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” Omar said at an event over a week ago, referring to Israel’s advocates.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer previously agreed that punishing King on the House floor would open a Pandora’s Box of political tit-for-tat, but felt at the time that it was necessary to go through with it anyway.

Freshmen House Democrats deliver petition urging McConnell to end shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington

U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) (L) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) (R) talk as they accompany other freshmen House Democrats to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office to deliver a letter “urging him to end the shutdown” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 16, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas.

A reporter asked Hoyer on Wednesday if the resolution being hammered out by Democrats, though reportedly intended to condemn both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, would set a precedent that would require further resolutions every time a member of Congress says something offensive. “In terms of precedent,” Hoyer said, “Steve King has said things for 10 years and there’s been no resolution.”

He continued, “Finally, obviously, it came to a point where the Republicans acted and we had a resolution that spoke to that. Let me repeat, every Democrat is against all these -isms, all this hate, all this prejudice, which, unfortunately, the President of the United States stokes on a regular basis. And, therefore, it’s made it more important that we respond.”

“Now, that doesn’t mean you’re going to respond to every comment that a Member makes that you disagree with. However, in this instance, questioning the loyalty of, particularly, a Jewish Member — I guess it could be any Member — and strong support for Israel is something that through millennia has been asserted, that Jews aren’t loyal to our country, they’re loyal to some other country. Israel hasn’t always existed, obviously, as a country, but this is not a new trope,” he said.

Hoyer later added, “I don’t make an analogy between Steve King and Congresswoman Omar; however, I will tell you, I don’t think she’s anti-Semitic.”

According to the House Majority Leader, Democratic leadership has not nailed down a date for a vote on the resolution this week, saying, “We’re working on language.“

Democrats found themselves arguing with one another Wednesday over the resolution’s language, Politico reported. Democratic Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a progressive caucus leader, did not want Omar’s name in the resolution, while a number of Jewish members reportedly pushed to include it.

Regarding concern among Democrats about opposing factions emerging over the resolution, Jayapal told The Daily Caller, “We’re going to make sure we try to keep unity as much as possible for our caucus. And I think we can get there.”

“You know, the Republicans certainly want to do that,” she said. “That would be their example of success. So we have to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

House Republicans have called for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to remove Omar from her committee seat on foreign affairs.

“She should be removed from that committee,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters Tuesday. “She gets intel from that committee from other things that happen around this world. With their own leadership, the only thing I see right now is Nancy Pelosi smiling with [Omar] on [the cover of Rolling Stone magazine]. She supports that language.” McCarthy noted that “there are options that House Republicans can do.”

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