U.S. House condemns ‘QAnon’ conspiracy theory; 17 Republicans vote no

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday voted to condemn the online pro-Trump conspiracy theory known as “QAnon,” but 17 Republicans opposed the non-binding resolution, whose sponsor Democrat Representative Tom Malinowski said he has received death threats.



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The U.S. Capitol building dome is seen in Washington

The House voted 371-18 to reject the conspiracy theory, which posits President Donald Trump has been working to take down a global child sex ring. As many as a dozen Republican candidates for Congress have voiced some support for the theory, and at least one of them appears to be a on a path to victory.

“The grotesque nature of the tweets and Instagram posts and the anti-Semitic tripe spewed by QAnon adherents should cause concern for everyone,” Representative Denver Riggleman, a Republican co-sponsor of the resolution, said on the House floor.

“But the death threats Tom Malinowski received were at surprise and a shock,” Riggleman said. “This type of behavior is easily condemned.”

Seventeen Republicans lawmakers and independent Representative Justin Amash voted against the resolution. Another Republican voted present, and forty lawmakers, most of them Republicans, did not vote.

Writing on Twitter, Amash said the resolution threatened protected speech – and may make things worse. “These are conspiracy theorists who believe in a deep state that’s fighting against them,” he wrote.

Republican candidates who have voiced some measure of support for the QAnon theory include Georgia businesswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, on track for a House seat after her Democratic opponent dropped out, and Jo Rae Perkins, who is running for Senate in Oregon against incumbent Senator Jeff Merkley. He is expected to win.

The theory claims without evidence that “deep-state” traitors, child sex predators and prominent Democrats are plotting against Trump, who in turn is leading a plot against them. The FBI included QAnon last year in a warning about “conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists.”

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

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House Democrats’ resolution condemns harassment of Asian Americans

House Democrats passed a resolution Thursday condemning the harassment of Asian Americans and directly blamed President Trump amid reports of an uptick in such incidents nationwide.

The resolution, which passed 243-164 with 14 Republicans joining Democrats, is tangled in the larger debate around how the U.S. should address China’s role in the global pandemic.

Rep. Grace Meng, the resolution’s sponsor, said in a tweet that Mr. Trump’s use of the terms “China virus” and “Kung Flu” were making scapegoats of Asian Americans.

“This is wrong & dangerous,” she wrote. “Passing [the resolution] sends a unified message that such bigotry, hatred and xenophobia will not be tolerated.”

Ms. Meng, New York Democrat, voted for her bill via proxy.

The resolution doesn’t carry the weight of law but does express consensus of the House.

“Sadly this bigotry is being fueled by some in Washington, and you would think, I thought this would be almost unanimous consent to condemn violence against Asian Americans. Even from the White House itself, which uses dangerous, false and offensive terms to describe the coronavirus,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said on the floor.

Republican leaders denounced the resolution, accusing Democrats of pushing it through to score political points and shying away from penalizing China.

“Did the virus start in China? Yes. Did it start in Wuhan, China? Yes. Did China lie to the United States about the severity and origins of this virus? Yes,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise deflected criticism of Mr. Trump by highlighting the fact that the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing in February titled “The Wuhan Coronavirus.”

They said the vote wasted time that could’ve been spent working on stalled coronavirus relief to get aid out to the American public.

Mr. Trump has doubled down on blaming China while insisting that the blame is not directed at Asian Americans.

While Democrats made it clear the resolution was aimed at Mr. Trump, the text didn’t name the president and called on all officials to condemn “any and all anti-Asian sentiment in any form.”

It also requests federal law enforcement to aid state and local efforts to collect data on harassment and hate crimes against Asian Americans.

The Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council and Chinese for Affirmative Action launched a website in March where people can report such incidents.

Stop AAPI Hate, a coalition of groups tracking these reports, found that more than 2,500 incidents — ranging from physical attacks to verbal accosts to discrimination — have been submitted as of August. The vast majority of these anecdotal reports show Asian Americans being blamed for spreading the virus.

Data from Pew Research gathered in July found that Asian Americans were the most likely — compared to White, Black and Hispanic Americans — to report negative reactions from others because of their ethnicity since the outbreak began. Nearly 40% of Americans said it was more common to direct racist views at Asian

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House of Representatives condemns coronavirus-related discrimination against Asians over objections from Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday voted to condemn all forms of anti-Asian sentiment related to the coronavirus over objections from Champaign County Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, who dismissed the measure as another effort by Democrats to attack President Donald Trump.

“Everyone knows racism is wrong, but that’s not what this legislation is about,” said Jordan, who serves as top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said on the House floor.

Democrats who unanimously supported the measure argued it’s needed to fight racially motivated harassment and violence against Asians that stems from their being associated with the virus because of its origins in China. They cited prominent figures, including Trump, “resorting to anti-Asian rhetoric in speaking about the challenge of COVID-19,” as House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland described it.

In addition to condemning anti-Asian sentiment, the resolution calls on federal law enforcement to investigate and document all credible reports of hate crimes against Asian-Americans, to collect data on the rise of hate crimes incidents due to COVID-19, and to hold perpetrators accountable.

The measure passed the House of Representatives in a 243-164 vote. All of Ohio’s Democrats backed the measure, as did Republicans Anthony Gonzalez of Rocky River and Steve Stivers of Columbus.

In a speech on the House of Representatives floor to support the resolution, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York cited a report from the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council that said there have been almost 2,600 cases of anti-Asian discrimination related to the coronavirus since March 19, including “the stabbings of an Asian-American father and his two young children, ages 2 and 6, in Texas.”

“Public health entities including the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recognized that labeling a virus by geographic or ethnic terms unfairly stigmatizes certain communities and ultimately harms public health,” Nadler continued, noting that Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar condemned the use of the phrase ‘Chinese virus’ in testimony before the Ways and Means Committee, stating that ‘ethnicity is not what causes the novel coronavirus.’”

Jordan accused the resolution’s proponents of participating in a “cancel culture” mob, noting that media outlets including CNN, MSNBC, ABC, and CBS have referred to the coronavirus as the “Chinese coronavirus,” “China’s coronavirus” and the “Wuhan virus.”

“In the new woke world, you can’t state the truth,” said Jordan, noting that the virus started in China, which lied to the world about the virus and its severity. He said those who are “politically correct” are stifling truthful statements about China’s role. He called the resolution and “where the left wants to take the country” dangerous for free speech rights.

“That’s how the mob operates today,” he said. “They’ll attack you if you don’t say it the way they want you to say it and this is dangerous. You can’t say China virus today. Tomorrow who knows what it will be?”

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House condemns racism against Asian Americans amid pandemic



House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference about COVID-19, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)


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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference about COVID-19, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House voted Thursday to condemn racism against Asian Americans tied to the coronavirus outbreak, approving a Democratic resolution on a mostly party-line vote. Republicans called the legislation an election-year effort to criticize President Donald Trump and “woke culture on steroids.”

The resolution, approved 243-164, calls on all public officials to condemn anti-Asian sentiment and to investigate hate crimes after a rise in aggression and violence from those blaming people of Asian descent for the pandemic. The measure does not name Trump but notes inflammatory terms used by him and other Republicans — including “Chinese Virus,” “Wuhan Virus,” and “Kung flu” — and says they have perpetuated an anti-Asian stigma.



House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., center, with House Democrats, speaks during a news conference about COVID-19, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. From left are Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., Pelosi, Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., and Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Ill. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)


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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., center, with House Democrats, speaks during a news conference about COVID-19, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. From left are Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., Pelosi, Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., and Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Ill. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that “at the same time that the coronavirus pandemic is broken out, so too has a disturbing epidemic of hate and discrimination” against Asian Americans and Asian immigrants, including physical and verbal attacks and vandalized businesses. She blamed Trump for trying to divert attention from Russia’s meddling in elections to demonize China.



Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., center, speaks next to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., left, and House Majority Whip James Clyburn, of S.C., during a news conference about COVID-19, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)


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Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., center, speaks next to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., left, and House Majority Whip James Clyburn, of S.C., during a news conference about COVID-19, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., called Republican opposition to the resolution “disgraceful.”

“The president is fueling racism and inspiring violent attacks on Asian Americans and Asian immigrants,” Takano said. Trump has often used the term “kung flu” on the campaign trail as he has tried to turn focus to the virus’s origins in China amid criticism of his response to the pandemic.

Republicans said Trump was turning his ire toward China’s government and not Asian Americans. Trump in March insisted that Asian Americans were “amazing people” and not at fault for spreading the virus.

Several House Republicans spoke against the resolution. Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan said it was “just another opportunity to attack the president.” Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs called it “woke culture on steroids.” Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said it was “ridiculous” and a “waste of time” as the House was about to adjourn for the week and Democrats and the White House have so far failed to agree on additional coronavirus relief.

“At the heart of this resolution is the absurd notion that referring to the virus as a Wuhan virus

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House Report Condemns Boeing and F.A.A. in 737 Max Disasters

The two fatal crashes that killed 346 people aboard Boeing’s 737 Max and led to the worldwide grounding of the plane were the “horrific culmination” of engineering flaws, mismanagement and a severe lack of federal oversight, the Democratic majority on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said in a report on Wednesday.

The report, which condemns both Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration for safety failures, concludes an 18-month investigation based on interviews with two dozen Boeing and agency employees and an estimated 600,000 pages of records. Over more than 200 pages, the Democrats argue that Boeing emphasized profits over safety and that the agency granted the company too much sway over its own oversight.

“This is a tragedy that never should have happened,” Representative Peter A. DeFazio of Oregon, the committee chairman, said. “It could have been prevented, and we’re going to take steps in our legislation to see that it never happens again.”

Representative Sam Graves of Missouri, the committee’s top Republican, said that while change was needed, congressional action should be based on nonpartisan recommendations, “not a partisan investigative report.”

The report was issued as the F.A.A. appeared close to lifting its grounding order for the Max after test flights this summer. F.A.A. clearance could lead aviation authorities elsewhere to follow suit and allow the plane to fly again as soon as this winter.

The congressional report identified five broad problems with the plane’s design, construction and certification. First, the race to compete with the new Airbus A320neo led Boeing to make production goals and cost-cutting a higher priority than safety, the Democrats argued. Second, the company made deadly assumptions about software known as MCAS, which was blamed for sending the planes into nosedives. Third, Boeing withheld critical information from the F.A.A. Fourth, the agency’s practice of delegating oversight authority to Boeing employees left it in the dark. And finally, the Democrats accused F.A.A. management of siding with Boeing and dismissing its own experts.

“These issues must be addressed by both Boeing and the F.A.A. in order to correct poor certification practices that have emerged, reassess key assumptions that affect safety and enhance transparency to enable more effective oversight,” the committee said.

Those crashes were caused in part by the MCAS system aboard the Max. Because the engines on the Max are larger and placed higher than on its predecessor, they could cause the jet’s nose to push upward in some circumstances. MCAS was designed to push the nose back down. In both crashes, the software was activated by faulty sensors, sending the planes toward the ground as the pilots struggled to pull them back up.

The deaths could have been avoided, however, if not for a series of safety lapses at Boeing and the F.A.A., the Democrats argued.

Internal communications show that Boeing dismissed or failed to adequately address concerns raised by employees relating to MCAS and its reliance on a single external sensor, the committee found. It also accused Boeing of intentionally misleading F.A.A. representatives,

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New York congressman condemns House leaders for blocking bipartisan coronavirus bill

New York Rep. Max Rose said he was disappointed to be a Democrat after House leaders blocked a bipartisan coronavirus stimulus package.



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Rose, a Democrat in a tough reelection race, criticized congressional leaders for blocking a proposal from the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus that included policies both sides support to provide a temporary stimulus to those suffering during the pandemic.

“It made me disappointed to be a Democrat,” Rose told CNN. “You saw all the reasons why people hate politics. Because they are rejecting a bold bipartisan measure outright and insinuating things are not in there when they actually are and just continuing to kick the can down the road over and over again.”

“It’s deeply frustrating,” he added. “It’s a charade. […] It’s stupid.”

The proposal from the Problem Solvers Caucus would have included $2 trillion in additional stimulus to address problems caused by the pandemic. The bill included another round of stimulus checks for citizens, additional unemployment benefits, and additional funding for elections, all of which have bipartisan support.

The legislation excludes the more controversial proposals that have the two parties split, including federal funding for states who are facing budget shortfalls.

The Democratic leaders in the House, however, said that the legislation did not go far enough. They claimed that the legislative package “falls short of what is needed to save lives and boost the economy.”

Senate Democrats also blocked a similar narrow coronavirus bill earlier in September that would have provided some temporary economic aid.

Rose has made a point of contradicting his party in recent weeks. He recently ran a campaign advertisement calling New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio the “worst” mayor in the city’s history. While he tries to gain the support of frustrated moderates, Republican super PACs have been pouring money into his district highlighting his support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Tags: News, Nancy Pelosi, Congress

Original Author: Madison Dibble

Original Location: ‘Disappointed to be a Democrat’: New York congressman condemns House leaders for blocking bipartisan coronavirus bill

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