Dem leader says party won't be lectured on anti-Semitism by McConnell

Dem leader says party won't be lectured on anti-Semitism by McConnell
© Stefani Reynolds

The chairman of the House Democratic Caucus fired back at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell shoots down Manchin's voting compromise Environmental groups urge congressional leaders to leave climate provisions in infrastructure package Loeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run MORE (R-Ky.) on Wednesday for suggesting that some freshman Democrats were engaging in anti-Semitism.

It came as the House prepares to consider a resolution condemning anti-Semitism and hate broadly in the aftermath of Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarYoung Turks founder on Democratic establishment: 'They lie nonstop' Hillary Clinton backs Shontel Brown in Ohio congressional race The Hill's Morning Report - Dems to go-it-alone on infrastructure as bipartisan plan falters MORE (D-Minn.) making remarks critical of Israel.

When asked about the resolution on Tuesday, McConnell said: “Now, this is a good time for America to think again about anti-Semitism. It seems to be more fashionable in Europe, it seems to be more fashionable in this country, regretfully, among at least some members of the new class in the House.”


In response, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesDemocrats seek staffer salary boost to compete with K Street Congress tiptoes back to normality post-pandemic White House to Democrats: Get ready to go it alone on infrastructure MORE (N.Y.) pointed to what he described as “hateful remarks” made by President TrumpDonald TrumpChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report Kim says North Korea needs to be 'prepared' for 'confrontation' with US Ex-Colorado GOP chair accused of stealing more than 0K from pro-Trump PAC MORE.

“When has he ever said anything about the hateful remarks that continue to float out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.? When has he ever said anything about that? So, we're not going to be lectured by Mitch McConnell on anything, and that shameless behavior must be discontinued,” Jeffries told reporters.

“Let me just generally say: There is not a rise of anti-Semitism in the House of Representatives, there is a rise of anti-Semitic behavior and activity and violence in the country. And, it's irresponsible for Mitch McConnell to try to politicize this issue,” Jeffries said.

Freshman Rep. Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerThe Memo: Democratic tensions will only get worse as left loses patience Five takeaways on the House's return to budget earmarks Lawmakers say companies need to play key role in sustainability MORE (D-Va.), who represents a swing district, similarly rejected McConnell's argument.

“I think a man who hasn't met any of us can't really comment on the positions of the freshman class,” Spanberger said.

“I think that it is incredibly detrimental to the cause of fighting such a scourge that someone would seek to, in fact, politically capitalize on this terrible trend and increase that we've seen throughout some of our communities,” she said.

Omar has faced criticism from fellow Democrats for saying at a forum last week that pro-Israel advocates try to accuse critics of anti-Semitism to shut down debate. 

“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” Omar said. “I want to ask, why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the [National Rifle Association], of fossil-fuel industries, or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobby that is influencing policy?”

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelDemocrats call on Blinken to set new sexual misconduct policies at State Department Lawmakers on hot mic joke 'aisle hog' Engel absent from Biden address: 'He'd wait all day' Bowman to deliver progressive response to Biden's speech to Congress MORE (D-N.Y.), who is Jewish, issued a statement accusing Omar of “invoking a vile anti-Semitic slur” of dual loyalty, calling her comments “outrageous and deeply hurtful.”