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US Congress

More than 160 U.S. House Democrats voted on Sept. 16 against an amendment to combat anti-Semitism.

The Republican-offered measure was added to a Democrat-backed bill, the Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act, which would allow for the filing of private civil suits for breaches of federal rules that “prohibit discrimination on the ground of race, color or national origin in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.”

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The amendment, which was sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) and would require that anti-Semitism be considered as a form of discrimination, passed by a vote of 265-164, with 162 Democrats opposed. It was offered as a motion to recommit, which is the last opportunity for the House to debate and amend a bill before final passage.

“We should use this opportunity to show commitment to combating anti-Semitism,” said Foxx. “With anti-Semitism on the rise around the world, the need for this amendment is clear.”

The Republican Jewish Coalition hit back against Democrats who voted against the amendment.

“70% of Democrats voted against legislation that will help combat #antisemitism. Fortunately, Republicans stood up for American Jews to pass the amendment,” tweeted RJC.

However, Jewish Democratic Council of America executive director Halie Soifer sought to dispel the notion that Democrats were objecting to combating anti-Semitism.

“Correction: a @GOP procedural motion blocking passage of a bill combatting discrimination was manipulated, using anti-Semitism for political purposes. Truth: All Dems voted for the final bill, including the provision condemning anti-Semitism. Nearly all Republicans opposed it,” she tweeted.

The Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act passed 232-188, with all Democrats in favor and all but three Republicans against.

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