WASHINGTON — The U.S. House overwhelmingly adopted an anti-bigotry resolution this week, with 23 Republicans – including Greg Steube and Ted Yoho of Florida – voting against the measure.
The resolution, whose lead author was Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), condemns anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities. It was approved late Thursday by a vote of 407-23, with only Republicans opposing it.
The Republicans who voted no: Steube and Yoho of Florida, Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar of Arizona; Mo Brooks of Alabama; Ken Buck of Colorado; Ted Budd and Mark Walker of North Carolina; Michael Burgess, Mike Conaway, Louie Gohmert and Chip Roy of Texas; Liz Cheney of Wyoming; Chris Collins, Pete King and Lee Zeldin of New York; Rick Crawford of Arkansas; Jeff Duncan of South Carolina; Tom Graves of Georgia; Doug LaMalfa of California; Thomas Massie of Kentucky; Steven Palazzo of Mississippi; Mike Rogers of Alabama.
The vote came after freshman Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota ignited a political firestorm with comments that were perceived as anti-Israel. The backlash to her remarks sparked infighting among House Democrats, who grappled with the proper response, and with how broad they should make the anti-hate resolution that went to the House floor.
The measure ultimately contained language denouncing anti-Semitism, white supremacy, Islamophobia, racism, and other forms of bigotry.
“As Members of Congress and Americans we have a solemn, urgent responsibility to fight to end the scourge of bigotry, racism and hatred in our country,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday on the House floor.
Omar issued a statement Thursday heralding the passage of the resolution that condemns “all forms of bigotry including anti-Semitism, racism, and white supremacy.” She also lauded the House for voting for the first time to condemn anti-Muslim bigotry.
Republican critics of the resolution, however, said it was overly broad, and should have directly condemned Omar’s comments.
Florida U.S. Rep. Steube, who represents a southwest Florida district, said in a statement that he voted against the resolution “because it failed to specifically condemn the remarks” made by Omar. “Her vile, anti-Semitic remarks should have been specifically condemned in this resolution, but instead, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle decided to look the other way.”
Yoho, who represents a North-Central Florida district, also issued a statement, saying “Anti-Semitic speech is unacceptable, and it must be suppressed whenever it rears its ugly head” but that the resolution should have condemned Omar, and that she should be removed from her committees.
“To present a generic resolution that rationalizes this type of speech lessens its significance,” Yoho said.
House Democratic Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer said of Republicans’ criticisms: “Apparently the problem is we also spoke against racism. We also spoke against xenophobia.”
“Yes, it spoke directly about anti-Semitism, as it should have,” Hoyer said. “I don’t know why that 23 voted against it, but they did. Not on our side of the aisle.”
Phoenix Editor-in-chief Julie Hauserman contributed to this report.