House of Representatives
House of Representatives iStock

A resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives this week condemning rising antisemitism passed on Wednesday with only one member voting against it.

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, a libertarian leaning Republican who represents a Northern Kentucky district and is known as “Mr. No” for voting against so many bills, was harshly criticized for voting against the bill.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) praised the House for passing the resolution nearly unanimously, saying on Twitter: “We commend the House for passing a resolution condemning antisemitism with overwhelming bipartisan support. With leadership united, the U.S. can be a model of the strong response needed adequately combat rising anti-Jewish hate.”

They also rebuked Massie for being the lone “no” vote.

“Representative Thomas Massie was the lone vote against yesterday's resolution condemning antisemitism,” AJC said. “While Democrats and Republicans united, Rep. Massie, who has also opposed bills on Holocaust education and Iron Dome funding, decided that combating rising hatred is not important.”

In response Massie tweeted: “I don’t hate anyone based on his or her ethnicity or religion. Legitimate government exists, in part, to punish those who commit unprovoked violence against others, but government can’t legislate thought.”

Massie, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump at the beginning of May, accused the bill of promoting “internet censorship and violations of the 1st Amendment.”

He also wrote in another tweet that "if we just voted based on the names of the bills, I’d vote for almost all of them."

Wednesday’s non-binding resolution called on "elected officials, faith leaders, and civil society leaders" to condemn all forms of antisemitism; called on lawmakers to denounce "all denials and distortions of the Holocaust" and to promote Holocaust and antisemitism education; called on social media companies to improve measures to combat antisemitic content while "while protecting free speech concerns”; and stated that the House supported increasing the security of Jewish institutions, which may involve additional government funding.

The AJC’s national field operations officer Melanie Maron Pell pointed out to the Courier Journal that Massie had a troubling history of voting against other measures meant to combat anti-Jewish hatred, including a 2020 bill to fund Holocaust education and a 2021 bill to add an extra $1 billion to funding for the Iron Dome.

Massie’s opposition to the Holocaust education bill helped earn him the rare distinction of being a GOP incumbent criticized by the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC).