House Republican explains decision to vote against anti-hate resolution

Rep. Lee ZeldinLee ZeldinHouse Republican explains decision to vote against anti-hate resolution The Hill's Morning Report - A rough week for House Dems The 23 Republicans who voted against the anti-hate resolution MORE (R-N.Y.) in an interview airing Sunday explained his decision to vote against a House resolution this week broadly condemning bigotry.

Zeldin, who is Jewish, said he thought the measure should have directly denounced remarks made by freshman Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarAlan Dershowitz: In defense of Chelsea Clinton Hateful words demand stronger response from Congress, President Trump Omar: Peace only achievable when we 'apply our universal values to all nations' MORE (D-Minn.) that were widely criticized as anti-Semitic.

“Instead of a resolution naming names and being singularly, emphatically, unequivocally condemning anti-Semitism ... you had a resolution that kept getting diluted and watered down, filled with moral equivalency, which is dangerous," he argued during an interview with radio host John Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York.

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Zeldin, who was among nearly two dozen Republicans who voted against the measure Thursday, said he felt there was a "double standard" for Democrats and Republicans. He contrasted the resolution with one earlier this year condemning white supremacy that referenced remarks by Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingHateful words demand stronger response from Congress, President Trump Ex-Bush ethics chief calls for Steve King expulsion after he posted meme of potential civil war Steve King deletes Facebook post asking who would win new US civil war MORE (R-Iowa), who questioned why terms such as "white supremacist" were offensive. 

"If [Omar] was a Republican, this resolution would’ve been naming names, she'd be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee and we would be talking about anti-Semitism solely, singularly and forcefully," Zeldin said in the interview.

The House overwhelmingly passed the anti-hate resolution in a vote of 407-23. The measure was originally expected to condemn anti-Semitism alone but was expanded to include Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry amid outcry from Omar's progressive allies and others.

Omar sparked controversy when she said, “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.” Critics said her remarks played into anti-Semitic tropes, but her supporters argued she was being unfairly scrutinized because she is Muslim.

Omar was previously accused of anti-Semitism after she tweeted that politicians' support for Israel was "all about the Benjamins."