House Dems torn over resolution to condemn anti-Semitism after Omar’s comments
The House is set to vote on a resolution to acknowledge and reject the 'dangerous consequences' of anti-Semitism after Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar says Israel has hypnotized the world; Peter Doocy reports.
Infighting among House Democrats could delay consideration of a resolution condemning anti-Semitism in the wake of controversial comments made by freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., a senior source told Fox News on Tuesday.
There is internal consternation among Democrats about the text of the resolution and whether Omar will be mentioned by name. The latest text being circulated by House does not mention Omar.
Fox News is told the fighting could jeopardize bringing up the measure this week because there’s a risk it might not pass. Lawmakers had planned to present it on Wednesday.
Asked if House Democrats might postpone a vote, one senior House Democratic source said, “That is entirely possible. There are so many traps you’ve got to run.”
Despite only being in Congress since January, Omar has been the center of controversy over numerous remarks she’s made that have been labeled anti-Semitic.
“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 recently said in reference to Israel. "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 lobbying movement that is influencing policy."
Amid criticism from a number of Omar’s congressional colleagues and others that she was invoking the "dual-loyalties" charge, considered an anti-Semitic trope, the freshman lawmaker doubled down on her stance.
“I have not mischaracterized our relationship with Israel, I have questioned it and that has been clear from my end,” she tweeted. “I am told every day that I am anti-American if I am not pro-Israel. I find that to be problematic and I am not alone. I just happen to be willing to speak up on it and open myself to attacks.”
In a recent letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Anti-Defamation League Chief Executive Jonathan Greenblatt said that Omar’s suggestion that Jews have a divided loyalty between the U.S. and Israel is “a vile anti-Semitic slur that has been used to harass, marginalize and persecute the Jewish people for centuries.”
Greenblatt condemned the attacks Omar has faced for her own Islamic faith, but that a congressional resolution would “send the unambiguous message that the United States Congress is no place for hate.”
Some lawmakers are pushing for Omar to lose her role on key House committee.
“The resolution only addresses part of the issue,” House GOP Whip Steve Scalise tweeted Tuesday. “Rep. Omar continues to make anti-Semitic remarks. These are her beliefs. If Nancy Pelosi is serious about denouncing anti-Semitism & supporting one of our strongest allies, she should remove Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee.”
Meanwhile, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday criticized the planned resolution, saying other lawmakers weren’t reprimanded after controversial comments.
The House did not directly rebuke Iowa Rep. Steve King, for example, when it voted to condemn white nationalism and white supremacy after comments he made in January.
"One of the things that is hurtful about the extent to which reprimand is sought of Ilhan is that no one seeks this level of reprimand when members make statements about Latinx + other communities (during the shutdown, a GOP member yelled 'Go back to Puerto Rico!' on the floor)," Ocasio-Cortez said.
The House Democratic leadership would like to treat the resolution as a “suspension” measure, meaning the House can bring the plan to the floor quickly with limited debate. But it needs a two-thirds vote to pass.
Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.