House Dems deny dragging feet on antisemitism bill

on the hill

House Democrats are disputing a senior Republican’s claim that they are stalling legislation to combat antisemitism. 

Details: In an op-ed published in the Atlanta Jewish Times last week, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee  Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) accused the Democratic House majority of refusing to bring his bill, the Antisemitism Awareness Act of 2019, up for a vote because they “can’t seem to agree on condemning the rank antisemitism within their own party.”

According to the Republican ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, the legislation “has bipartisan support in the Senate thanks to Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Bob Casey (D-P.A.), and many of my House colleagues — Democrat and Republican — supported the Antisemitism Awareness Act last Congress.” 

Push back: Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) tells JI that the claim that Democrats are neglecting the issue “is out of step with reality.” Luria, a member of the House Bipartisan Task Force For Combating Antisemitism, maintained that “House Democrats have strongly condemned antisemitism, and we will continue to do so.”

Work to do: Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) stressed that there are “several efforts in the House” to combat the rising tide of antisemitism. Nonetheless, the New Jersey lawmaker acknowledged that “we have much more work to do in this fight and against all forms of hatred.” 

In the Senate: Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a co-sponsor of the Senate bill, and Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) launched this week the Senate Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism. The launch date coincided with the one-year anniversary of the Tree of Life synagogue massacre. The two senators explained the move in a joint op-ed published Monday.

A spokesperson for Rosen tells JI that the Nevada Democrat “believes that combating antisemitism must be a non-partisan issue.”

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