It wasn’t just Democrats who had difficulty remaining unified after one of their most liberal members was accused of anti-Semitism for suggesting that House supporters of Israel have dual allegiances.
Almost two dozen Republicans stirred up a mini-tempest within their party for opposing the Democratic resolution condemning anti-Semitism and other bigotry in a Thursday vote.
Wyoming GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, the third-ranking House Republican, broke with other top party leaders. She called the resolution — crafted after Rep. Ilhan Omar’s controversial comments — “a sham put forward by Democrats to avoid condemning one of their own and denouncing vile anti-Semitism.”
Rep. Lee Zeldin, one of the few Jewish Republicans in the House, said the resolution should have condemned Omar directly.
“No, now we can’t come here and just emphatically, solely, forcefully condemn anti-Semitism and name names. But if it was a Republican, we would,” Zeldin said. “It is time to call out these statements for what they are: pointed, bigoted, unreasonable, illegitimate, anti-Semitic.”
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was spotted apparently trying to convince GOP lawmakers like Louis Gohmert of Texas not to muddle the message by voting against the anti-bigotry resolution. And Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, stripped of his committee assignments by GOP leaders after a history of racist remarks, voted “present.”
In all, 23 Republicans opposed the resolution.
Many Democrats were unhappy about the episode, which stomped on its main message of the week, a political reform bill that’s slated to pass Friday.