House to vote Thursday on anti-Semitism resolution
They pointed to a poster on display at the West Virginia statehouse last week that linked Omar, one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress last year, to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“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 at a forum at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C., last week. “I want to ask, why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the NRA, of fossil-fuel industries, or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobby that is influencing policy?”
“I don’t believe it was intended in an anti-Semitic way. But the fact is if that’s how it was interpreted, we have to remove all doubt,” Pelosi told reporters on Thursday.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said at Thursday’s meeting that Democrats should move forward with the resolution to avoid getting hit with a GOP procedural motion about the issue when the chamber passes a campaign finance and voting overhaul bill on Friday, according to a source in the room.
Rep. Katherine Clark (Mass.), the Democratic Caucus vice chair, said Democrats wanted to vote on the resolution before passage of the campaign finance and voting rights bill “to put this issue behind us.”
House Republicans have successfully exploited a parliamentary proposal known as a motion to recommit multiple times in recent weeks to force tough votes for Democrats. The motions can be sprung on the House at the last minute, such as a GOP proposal to amend Democrats’ universal background checks bill last week to require that Immigration and Customs Enforcement is notified if an undocumented immigrant tries to buy a gun.
“She is learning important lessons right now. And I just think that it is shameful that it is being exploited, not just by the Republicans but also the press,” Schakowsky told reporters.
He noted it isn’t the first time Omar has faced accusations of anti-Semitism. Omar backtracked in January from a 2012 tweet amid the Gaza War saying “Israel has hypnotized the world,” as well as from tweets last month suggesting that U.S. lawmakers defending Israel were motivated by campaign donations.
“We are having this debate because of the language of one of our colleagues. Language that suggests that Jews like me who serve in the United States in Congress and whose father earned a Purple Heart fighting the Nazis in the Battle of Bulge, that we are not loyal Americans? Why are we unable to singularly condemn anti-Semitism?” Deutch said in a speech on the House floor.
“Anti-Semitism is worthy of being taken seriously on its own. It’s worthy of being singularly called out.”
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), who is also Jewish, said it “would be helpful” if Omar apologized.
“Listen, anti-Semitic comments were made. I think you have to address them quickly,” Gottheimer said. “If you question someone’s loyalty to the United States of America because of someone’s faith, you better address that.”