The Latest: Delay as House revises anti-bigotry measure
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on House Democrats and Rep. Ilhan Omar’s comments about Israel (all times local):
House Democrats are briefly postponing votes on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism and other bigotry as lawmakers add language sought by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to include Latinos.
That’s according to the office of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. A spokeswoman says voting on the resolution is expected later Thursday.
The late revision comes after a week of debate among Democrats over how to respond the comments critical of Israel by Ilhan Omar, a newly elected Democratic congressman from Minnesota.
Some view her words as anti-Semitic. But others want to broaden the resolution to include a rejection of other discrimination and racism.
House Democrats are unveiling a resolution condemning anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities as they try to end the swirling controversy around a colleague’s comments against Israel.
The new resolution is being rushed for a vote Thursday. The seven-page document condemns anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim bigotry “as hateful expressions of intolerance” contradictory to “the values and aspirations” of the U.S. It “rejects the perpetuation of anti-Semitic stereotypes” in the U.S. and abroad.
It’s the product of days of debate over how to respond to Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar’s remarks that were widely seen as anti-Semitic. She suggested Jewish people have dual loyalties.
Lawmakers have been torn over how to respond. Some wanted to rebuke her remarks. But others say she’s being unfairly singled out amid racist comments from President Donald Trump and Republicans.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says freshman Democrat Ilhan Omar didn’t realize her words about Israel would sound anti-Semitic to some powerful members of Congress.
Omar’s comment that a pledge of “allegiance” to the Jewish state is expected of lawmakers sparked enough outrage to split Democrats and throw their agenda into question. Some Democrats wanted a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, while others said that would have unfairly singled out the Minnesota Democrat.
Pelosi told reporters the resolution the House will vote on Thursday will “speak out against anti-Semitism, anti-Islamophobia, anti-white supremacy and all the forms that it takes.”
Of Omar, Pelosi said, “I do not believe she understood the full weight of her words. These words have a history and a cultural impact.”
Omar, a Somali-American, is one of two Muslim women in the House.
The House is expected to vote Thursday on a resolution “opposing hate” as Democrats try to move on from a controversy that has split the party and clouded their agenda.
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced the vote at a private morning meeting of House Democrats, according to a spokeswoman.
Democrats have been in knots after comments from newly elected Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., that were seen as anti-Semitic. A Muslim-American, she has been critical of Israel.
Some Democratic lawmakers wanted a resolution that rebuked the comments, but others viewed the condemnation as unfairly singling out Omar at a time when President Donald Trump and others have made disparaging racial comments.
A draft resolution was panned by many Democrats, and a new text was being prepared ahead of voting.