May 17, 2021
JERUSALEM WEATHER

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On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed the Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act (H.R. 2574) by a vote of 232-188, allowing private individuals to file lawsuits under the Civil Rights Act’s Title VI authority. This will allow students and parents to remedy discrimination in education. Before the vote, House Republicans proposed adding a six-line amendment to the Democrat-backed bill to combat antisemitism. Prior to this amendment, the protected classes were listed as “race, color, or national origin.” The Republicans proposed inserting, “In carrying out the responsibilities of the recipient under this title, the employee or employees designated under this section shall consider antisemitism to be discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin as prohibited by this title.’’

“We should use this opportunity to show commitment to combating antisemitism,” Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), who proposed the amendment, said, “With anti-Semitism on the rise around the world, the need for this amendment is clear.”

Most Republicans, including Foxx, initially opposed H.R. 2574. Foxx stated during debate: “The consequences of this legislation within the education community are very clear. The creation of a private right of action would lead to additional burdens on already taxed State and local agencies, especially school systems who would have to defend themselves against tenuous allegations advanced by parents and activists.”

Despite the bill being proposed by Democrats, 162 representatives from that party rejected the amended bill. This represents over 70% of the Democratic members including 13 of the 27 Jewish members of the House, as well as Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who was voted ‘Antisemite of the Year’ in 2019 by The Jerusalem Post.

The reason was explained by Robert Cortez Scott (D-VA):

This is just a political attempt to insert religion into Title VI. That is controversial … while we are picking just one religious kind of discrimination, antisemitism, what about the other religions? Wouldn’t they deserve attention, too?”

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