Dems and GOP at odds over Islamophobia bill
If the House passes, the bill struggles to come up with Republicans in the Senate
WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – Democrats say that, whether in the world or in the halls of Congress, Islamophobia is a serious issue that must be addressed. They are about to pass a bill in the House to help fight anti-Muslim hatred by creating a special office.
But Republicans oppose the bill. They say it’s rushed and could have unintended consequences.
Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmuter said the efforts in the House “were down to a fanatic joke” from fellow Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert.
Boebert said she never sympathized with terrorists. “Unfortunately, Ilhan can’t say the same.”
She was referring to Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, who introduced a bill to create a State Department office headed by a special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Muslim hatred.
“We want to call it wherever we see it and make sure it’s part of a report,” New York Democrat Gregory Meeks said.
Jim McGovern, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said, “I don’t see anything partisan in the underlying bill here.”
But Tom Cole, a Republican from Oklahoma, said, “I’m not at all sure that’s a partisan issue.”
The GOP said the bill was not ready for passage and needed better definition of terms such as islamophobia and bullying.
“What constitutes harassment or that sort of thing?” Or is it just something that, much like pornography, you’ll know when you see it? Cole said.
“No, I think it’s something like the anti-Semitism bill that was passed almost unanimously,” Meeks replied.
Republicans have said they will not support the bill for fear of unintended consequences.
“Israel’s counterterrorism effort – would that be considered anti-Muslim? Texas Republican Michael McCaul asked.
After its passage through the House, the bill will struggle to overcome the blockades of Senate Republicans.