GOP leader needles Dems on anti-Semitism resolution

GOP leader needles Dems on anti-Semitism resolution
© Stefani Reynolds

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' New Yorker cover titled 'The Shining' shows Graham, McConnell, Barr polishing Trump's shoes MORE (R-Ky.) in a floor speech on Thursday needled House Democrats on their struggles to agree to a resolution condemning anti-Semitism.

McConnell has repeatedly spoken about the House resolution, underscoring how Republicans are enjoying playing to the divide in the Democratic conference.

McConnell said he “took for granted” that House Democrats would be able to pass the resolution condemning anti-Semitism following controversial remarks by freshman Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarCarson invokes abortion in Twitter response to jab from Omar WHIP LIST: Democrats who support an impeachment inquiry against President Trump Muslim lawmakers host Ramadan iftar to break fast at Capitol MORE (D-Minn.). 

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Omar last week said she wanted to talk “about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” referring to Israel.

The remarks were criticized by lawmakers who said Omar was playing into anti-Semitic arguments that Jewish Americans are loyal to Israel and not the United States.

“I took for granted as a result House Democrats would at least, at least make good on their plan to symbolically condemn anti-Semitism. … I at least assumed a few pages of symbolism was not too much to ask,” McConnell said. 

McConnell added that within the House's "new far-left Democratic majority, even a symbolic, symbolic resolution condemning anti-Semitism seems to be a bridge too far." 

Shortly after McConnell's remarks, House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerSteyer plans impeachment push targeting Democrats over recess The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push Pelosi faces tipping point on Trump impeachment MORE (D-Md.) announced that the House would vote on a resolution Thursday that broadly condemned hate.

Democrats have brushed off criticism from McConnell, arguing the GOP leader has remained silent about comments from President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' 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,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesThe Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push Overnight Defense: Trump officials say efforts to deter Iran are working | Trump taps new Air Force secretary | House panel passes defense bill that limits border wall funds House Democrats press leaders to start Trump impeachment MORE (N.Y.) told reporters.

Asked about McConnell tying a rise in anti-Semitism to the House Democratic Caucus, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNo agreement on budget caps in sight ahead of Memorial Day recess Ex-White House photographer roasts Trump: 'This is what a cover up looked like' under Obama Pelosi: Trump 'is engaged in a cover-up' MORE (D-N.Y.) added: “Okay, why doesn't Senator McConnell talk about the people … who marched on a synagogue and chanted burn it down and then Donald Trump said both sides are to blame?”