Pelosi: House to condemn ‘forms of hatred’ after Omar words | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World

Pelosi: House to condemn ‘forms of hatred’ after Omar words

Associated Press
848295_web1_848295-038a42506df246b893cb7644487d662d
AP
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters during her weekly news conference, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, March 7, 2019.
848295_web1_848295-26dbd7ea77c74248a0c59d2f97cedc18
AP
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., sits with fellow Democrats on the House Education and Labor Committee during a bill markup, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. Omar stirred controversy last week saying that Israel’s supporters are pushing U.S. lawmakers to take a pledge of “allegiance to a foreign country.” Omar is not apologizing for that remark, and progressives are supporting her.
848295_web1_848295-29a334a6b4534e8e84805ee8bb102f8d
AP
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters during her weekly news conference, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, March 7, 2019.
848295_web1_848295-185fc55049444b75ac903c77774c89a9
AP
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters during her weekly news conference, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, March 7, 2019.

WASHINGTON — Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday the House will vote on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, white supremacy and other forms of hate after freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar’s comments about Israel sparked turmoil among Democrats.

Pelosi said she does not believe the Minnesota Democrat understood the “weight of her words” or that they would be perceived by some as anti-Semitic. The resolution won’t mention Omar by name.

“It’s not about her. It’s about these forms of hatred,” Pelosi told reporters. Asked whether the resolution was intended to “police” lawmakers’ words, Pelosi replied: “We are not policing the speech of our members. We are condemning anti-Semitism, anti-Islamophobia and we are condemning white supremacy.”

The move was in part intended to resolve a divide that opened after Omar said that Israel’s supporters were pushing lawmakers to take a pledge of “allegiance” to a foreign country. A Muslim-American, she has been critical of the Jewish state in the past and apologized for those previous comments.

“I feel confident that her words were not based on any anti-Semitic attitude,” Pelosi told reporters.

But Omar has not apologized for what many in Congress saw as a suggestion that Israel’s supporters have split loyalties. And that sparked a demand from some quarters to put a resolution on the floor condemning anti-Semitism.

Other members who wanted to broaden it to include a rejection of all forms of racism and bigotry. Some proposed two separate resolutions. Others questioned whether a resolution was necessary, and viewed such a move as unfairly singling out Omar at a time when President Donald Trump and others have made disparaging racial comments.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told Democrats the House would vote later in the day.

That seemed to quiet some of the dissention, but there remained frustration that the party that touts its diversity conducted such a messy and public debate about how to declare its opposition to bigotry.

“This shouldn’t be so hard,” said Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., said on the House floor.

The abrupt turn of events come as Democratic leaders try to quickly fend off a challenge from Republicans on the issue.

Democratic leaders worried they could run into trouble on another bill, their signature ethics and voting reform package, if Republicans tried to tack their own anti-Semitism bill on as an amendment. By voting Thursday, the House Democratic vote counters believe they could inoculate their lawmakers against such a move by passing Democrats’ own anti-hate bill.

Categories: News | Politics Election | World
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.