Pennsylvania Congresswoman Summer Lee (D-12) called on Republicans to not nominate a “white supremacist antisemite” for Speaker of the House and withdraw support for Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.).
Scalise was selected by the GOP caucus as their presumptive nominee for House Speaker on Wednesday as is awaiting a vote on the floor of the chamber.
“I’m sickened to learn that years before he was caught calling himself “David Duke without the baggage,” Scalise spoke at the 2002 International White Supremacist Convention sponsored by a group whose website said that ‘Jews will attack us for wanting to restore white America and are responsible for the ‘browning’ of America,’” Lee said in the statement.
“And peddled the same white-supremacist and antisemitic theory replacement theory that motivated the murders of 11 beloved members of my community in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, 10 Black grocery shoppers in Buffalo, 23 Hispanic community members in El Paso, and 51 Muslim worshipers in Christchurch.”
A press release cited a 2014 CNN report that in 2002, Scalise spoke at a conference sponsored and hosted by an anti-Semitic, white supremacist group called “the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO),” run by Duke, the former KKK Grand Wizard, and labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
In addition, Lee offers more reasons why Republicans should pull his nomination, including that Scalise voted against the MLK holiday, voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election, supports a national abortion ban and opposes same-sex marriage.
“Every Republican who votes for his Speakership will vote in support of rising anti-semitism, white supremacy, and islamophobia,” Lee added. She said she would vote for Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York, “and continue my work building bridges between marginalized communities to dismantle the systems of white supremacy enabling violence against our communities.”
Fellow congressman Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-11) has come out in support of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) for the position, while Rep. Dan Meuser (R-09) is backing Scalise. Rep. Scott Perry (R-10) tweeted that “No matter what happens, I will never vote for the status quo.”