These 24 House Republicans Couldn’t Bring Themselves To Oppose Intolerance
As a bipartisan super-majority, 407 members of Congress voted for a non-binding but symbolic resolution against anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim discrimination, and other bigotry and hate Thursday evening, yet two dozen House Republicans refused to join in. They included some of Congress’ most notable bigots, as well as a handful of others who complained the loudest about Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) recent criticism of the Israeli government, which they deemed anti-Semitic.
The measure, House Resolution 183, simply condemned anti-Semitism “as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values and aspirations that define the people of the United States,” and labeled anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against other minorities as “hateful expressions of intolerance that are contrary to the values and aspirations of the United States.”
But some of the most Islamophobic members of Congress did not like the fact that the resolution condemned other types of discrimination, and thus passed on their chance to cast a vote against bigotry. Some complained that by including other groups which face high rates of hate crimes and discrimination, the majority had somehow “watered down” the message. One complained that it did not condemn discrimination against white people. All but one of the 24 voted against the resolution outright; white supremacist Rep. Steve King (R-IA) voted “present.”
The other 23 included:
House Republican Caucus Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY)
Though the rest of the GOP leadership voted for the resolution, Cheney called it a “sham” that was “designed to protect anti-Semitic bigotry.” She complained that the resolution did not rebuke Omar by name, even as Cheney’s campaign website highlighted her support for President Donald Trump, who ran on an explicit promise to ban Muslims from entering the United States and defended neo-Nazi’s after the 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia attacks.
House Republican Caucus Vice Chair Mark Walker (R-NC)
Walker retweeted Cheney’s explanation on Thursday.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ)
Biggs was one of just three members of Congress in 2017 to vote against a resolution condemning genocide against the Rohingya, Myanmar’s Muslim minority group. On Thursday, he voted against the resolution, claiming it was “watered-down” and “said virtually nothing.”
Following repeated anti-Semitic rhetoric from Rep Omar, House Democrats produced a watered-down resolution that said virtually nothing. I voted against the resolution because Democrats are rationalizing & protecting this anti-Semitic behavior.— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) March 8, 2019
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL)
Brooks falsely claimed in 2016 that mainstream American Muslims want to “kill every homosexual” in the country. In 2015, he claimed that Syrian refugees were simply looking for a “paid vacation.” Thursday, he opposed the resolution, saying in a statement, “Quite frankly, I am shocked the Socialist Democrats who sponsored H.Res. 183 refused to similarly condemn discrimination against Caucasian-Americans and Christians.”
Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO)
In 2010, Buck said at a candidates’ forum: “I disagree strongly with the concept of separation of church and state. It was not written into the Constitution.”
In a radio interview on 630 KHOW on Friday, he explained that he voted against Thursday’s resolution because anti-Semitism is uniquely bad: “I voted against it primarily because there is no greater discrimination, no greater hate, no greater atrocities that have been committed than against the Jewish people.” He added, “You don’t water it down by talking about all the other things that are potentially wrong or are wrong in this world.”
Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC)
Budd demanded that Rep. Omar be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee over the comments. But he voted against the resolution, claiming it was because it didn’t expressly mention her or her comments.
Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX)
Burgess said Thursday that “all forms of religious discrimination are wrong. Full stop.” But he voted no on condemning, he said, because the resolution “does not adequately refute the Anti-Semitism that has been displayed in the U.S. House of Representatives.”
Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY)
Collins, who is currently under federal indictment for felony securities fraud, was Trump’s first congressional supporter in his 2016 campaign despite his support for a Muslim ban. He voted against condemning anti-Semitism and other discrimination Thursday because he felt the resolution was not “strong enough in support of Israel.”
Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX)
Conaway retweeted a comment from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Thursday that it “really shouldn’t be so difficult for Democrats—or anyone for that matter—to stand up against anti-Semitism.” But then he broke with McCarthy and voted no on the resolution doing so. McCarthy, himself, has been accused of spreading anti-Semitic tropes when he accused three wealthy donors of Jewish descent of trying to buy the 2018 midterm elections for the Democrats.
Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR)
Crawford blasted the resolution as a “hurried bill” that “did more to diminish” Omar’s comments, arguing that it somehow actually insulted “those her comments have targeted.”
(2/3) “If Democrat Leaders wanted to specifically address anti-Semitism and a member of their conference who has repeatedly made anti-Semitic comments, this resolution failed in nearly every way possible.— Rep Rick Crawford (@RepRickCrawford) March 8, 2019
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC)
Although the resolution included much detail on the history of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic violence and discrimination in America, Duncan said he opposed the “bizarre resolution” because it “includes no reference as to why it was needed in the first place.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
Gohmert, who boasts on his campaign website of receiving multiple awards from an anti-LGBTQ hate group, was one of five members of Congress in 2012 who — without evidence — accused members of the Obama administration of ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2010, Gohmert claimed on the House floor that the wives of terrorists give birth to “terror babies” on U.S. soil and “help destroy our way of life.” He voted against Thursday’s resolution claiming it was “so generic that it lost its meaning or significance.”
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ)
Gosar made news last year for having a lengthy dinner with racist Belgian extremist Filip DeWinter. But on Thursday he voted against the “watered down resolution” because it did not name Omar.
Without naming the offender, the chastisement is an empty gesture. I voted “no” to the watered down resolution. It’s time for Democrats to take real action against these anti -Jewish remarks.— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) March 7, 2019
Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA)
Graves’ office did not immediately respond to ThinkProgress’ inquiry as to why he voted against the resolution.
Rep. Peter King (R-NY)
King is a vocal Islamophobe who urged Trump in 2016 to implement nationwide surveillance of Muslims and once complained that there are “too many mosques in this country.” He opposed the “politically correct” resolution as “replete” with “moral equivalency.”
Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA)
LaMalfa said last month that the House strongly condemns “all forms of anti-Semitism.”
The House of Representatives stands with Israel. We strongly condemn all forms of anti-Semitism and reject any movements that deny Israel's right to exist. https://t.co/0CRyScqTEx— Rep. Doug LaMalfa (@RepLaMalfa) February 13, 2019
But on Thursday, he voted against such a condemnation.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY)
Massie mocked the resolution for protecting “just about every group on the planet,” but not “babies on the day of their birth.”
Rep. Steve Palazzo (R-MS)
Palazzo complained on Wednesday that the majority had delayed a resolution to condemn Omar’s remarks. He voted against the resolution brought up a day later.
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL)
Rogers said last month that anti-Semitism “has NO place in Congress,” but voted against Thursday’s resolution.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX)
Roy approvingly quoted his colleagues in opposing the resolution, saying he was “#ProudToVoteNo” on Thursday. He also accused his Democratic colleagues of raising money off of the resolution.
Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL)
Steube said he voted against the resolution because it did not specifically condemn Omar’s remarks and he did not want to be “complicit in the trivializing of her behavior.” He then made the somewhat contradictory argument that “Anti-Semitic behavior of all forms must be condemned.”
Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL)
Yoho, who once told a constituent that he was not sure the Civil Rights Act was constitutional, dismissed the resolution and retweeted Islamophobic conservative activist Ben Shapiro, who once tweeted that “Arabs like to bomb crap and live in open sewage,” as he attacked the House Democrats and media for it.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY)
Zeldin, who hosted both Steve Bannon (Trump’s former chief White House strategist and ex-chairman of Breitbart who is known for his ties to anti-Semitic white nationalists) and Sebastian Gorka (the former Trump security adviser who was a sworn member of a neo-Nazi party in Hungary) for fundraising events for his 2018 re-election campaign, has emerged as one of the most vocal critics of Omar.
On Fox News Friday morning, Zeldin questioned why the resolution didn’t address people “targeted for wearing MAGA hats.”
On Thursday, Zeldin voted no, claiming that to condemn other bigotry was “moral equivalency and double standards.”