WASHINGTON ― House Democrats are moving ahead with a vote on a resolution Thursday that would condemn anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and white supremacy. But missing from the resolution will be the name of the member inspiring the controversial vote: Rep. Ilhan Omar.
“It’s not about her,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters Thursday morning during her weekly press conference.
Read the full resolution here.
But it’s difficult to believe the House would be holding another vote calling out forms of hatred if it were not for Omar’s controversial remarks about being pushed to swear allegiance to a foreign country ― read: Israel ― and the backlash from within the Democratic Caucus over the weekend.
Pelosi also claimed holding this vote wasn’t about stymying GOP efforts to distract from Democrats’ voting rights and anti-corruption legislation, HR 1, which is expected to pass Friday.
Republicans have been toying with the idea of offering a motion to recommit ― a procedural tool of the minority ― that would rebuke Omar, or more broadly anti-Semitism, and try to get their third motion to recommit adopted in this Congress. Republicans succeeded in getting Democrats to support the first motion to recommit, which also called out anti-Semitism, in response to earlier comments Omar made about support for Israel being a result of financial contributions.
Pelosi repeatedly stuck up for Omar on Thursday, with the speaker saying she believed that Omar didn’t mean her comments to be anti-Semitic and that she “didn’t understand the full weight of her words.”
The vote Thursday seems to be a middle-ground approach. The resolution is written broadly enough that it isn’t a direct rebuke of Omar, but it will be unmistakable why Democrats are holding yet another vote on this topic.
The text states that the House “rejects the perpetuation of anti-Semitic stereotypes in the United States and around the world, including the pernicious myth of dual loyalty and foreign allegiance, especially in the context of support for the United States-Israel alliance.”
It also “condemns anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against all minorities as contrary to the values of the United States” and “encourages all public officials to confront the reality of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, and other forms of bigotry.”
There was some discussion this week of burying the resolution, after some Democrats stuck up for Omar and argued that other party members were just playing into the GOP’s hands, but leadership decided to move forward with the vote in an attempt to get past the controversy.
This story has been updated to include the full resolution.