A group of House Republicans introduced in recent days a proposed censure resolution targeting Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who leads the Congressional Progressive Caucus, a large alliance in the House. The measure against Jayapal, sponsored by first-term Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.), has only attracted two cosponsors, suggesting there’s not a lot of interest inside the Republican Party with moving forward on this effort.
Ogles and his two cosponsors — Republicans from Texas and South Carolina — raise complaints in the text of the proposed censure about ostensible anti-Semitism on Jayapal’s part. She recently faced criticism, even from some in the Democratic Party currently in elected office, after referring to Israel as a “racist state,” though she has effectively walked back those remarks. In prepared comments, she explained that the intended target of her ire is the policy approach taken by the Netanyahu government in Israel and its allies rather than the very idea of a country with a large Jewish population or that caters in some part to some Jews’ territorial interests. It wasn’t enough for these Republicans, whose proposed censure was picked up for coverage by Fox News.
The Fox report said the office of House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) didn’t return a request for comment before publication, and it wasn’t immediately clear how Republican leaders might intend to respond to the proposed censure. Censure is essentially a formal rebuke, which doesn’t necessarily carry substantial weight outside the halls of Congress, where the member named in such a resolution is generally required under its terms to present themselves for its public reading.
Recently, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) parlayed a censure from House Republicans into fuel for his Senate campaign’s fundraising and reported raising $8.1 million in the second quarter of this year, which ended June 30. The amount was identified as the highest reported by a Democratic Senate candidate in the second quarter of an off-year, meaning a year without nationwide elections.