Amid caustic rhetoric, House votes to combat Islamophobia
The legislative push comes as progressives had been already calling for Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) to be faraway from her committee assignments after she prompt just lately that Omar was doubtlessly a suicide bomber. The House invoice was voted out of the Overseas Affairs Committee final week as stress was constructing on GOP leaders to condemn Boebert’s remarks.
The Minnesota Democrat has continuously been the goal of Islamophobic assaults, together with from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who has repeatedly known as Omar a member of the “Jihad Squad.” Omar has been a vocal critic of Israel’s authorities, and has at occasions been accused of anti-Semitism, even by members of her personal celebration.
House Democratic leaders, together with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have known as on Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy to take punitive actions towards Boebert and others for his or her rhetoric.
The Omar-led invoice would set up an workplace inside the State Division, led by a presidential appointee, to monitor and report Islamophobia worldwide — modeled on an identical State Division workplace that combats anti-Semitism globally. It cleared the chamber on celebration strains, 219-212, with all Democrats voting in favor and all Republicans opposing.
“Till everyone seems to be free to apply their faith, nobody is,” Omar mentioned on the House ground.
Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, the highest Republican on the House Overseas Affairs Committee, mentioned he helps the “spirit and intent” of the invoice. However he raised issues that it might empower government department officers to crack down on protected speech as a result of the phrase “Islamophobia” isn’t outlined within the laws.
“It’s so obscure and subjective that it might be used towards legit speech for partisan functions,” McCaul mentioned on the House ground.
President Joe Biden helps the laws, the White House mentioned earlier Tuesday. It’s unclear if the invoice will get a vote within the Senate, the place it’s seemingly to be the goal of a GOP filibuster.
Sarah Ferris contributed to this report.