Over two dozen Republicans on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee refused to join their Democratic counterparts in signing a letter denouncing white supremacy and racist conspiracy theories.
In a letter to chairman Kentucky Rep. James Comer, ranking Democrat Jamie Raskin urged all Republicans to join committee Democrats in signing a draft pledge denouncing “white nationalism and white supremacy,” as well the use of related conspiracy theories, including the “Great Replacement” theory during committee hearings. A spokesperson for the committee Republicans said the letter was an attempt to “distract” from the Biden administration’s record on border crossings.
This is not the first time Republicans have been urged to denounce white supremacy. In 2022, when Democrats were in control of the House, a resolution was brought forward in the wake of a racist mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, to condemn “in strongest terms” the great replacement theory, a far-right claim that white Americans are purposely being replaced as the dominant race in the country by minorities and immigrants for political gain.
Raskin said that during previous meetings discussing immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border, Republican lawmakers expressed “dangerous and conspiratorial” rhetoric which echoed the “racist and nativist tropes” peddled by white supremacists and far-right extremists.
In his letter, Raskin said the GOP now has another opportunity to “take a public stand against the deliberate amplification of dangerous racist rhetoric that has had deadly consequences in this country” and arrives as the GOP-led House looks further to scrutinize the Biden administration’s handling of illegal immigration.
While not mentioning them by name, Raskin gave examples of how Republican committee members Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Chip Roy, and Josh Brecheen have previously described the illegal immigration at the southern border as an “invasion.”
Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar also asked whether Democrats were “changing our culture” with their border policies. Raskin said this is akin to the far-right claim that white Americans are purposely being replaced as the dominant race in the country by minorities and immigrants for political gain.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Oversight Committee Republicans told Newsweek: “It’s shameful that Democrats are calling efforts to protect the American people from the worst border crisis in history racist.
“Fiscal Year 2022 set records for apprehensions of illegal immigrants, migrant deaths, terrorist apprehensions, and drugs seized. Democrats are trying to distract from President Biden’s border crisis and their failure to conduct oversight of it for two years. Americans expect Congress to conduct oversight of the southern border, and Republicans are focused on delivering results.”
When asked for comment, a spokesperson for Oversight Committee member Rep. Anna Paulina Luna noted that the Republican has stated in the past: “We don’t have a white supremacy problem; we have an illegal immigration problem.”
Rep. Byron Donalds added that he has no intention in signing what he called an “unproductive” letter from Raskin, whose “sole focus is showboating and ignoring Biden’s open border policies.”
The letter was signed by Raskin and the other 20 Democrat members of the House Oversight committee. All 26 Republicans refused to sign the letter.
Full List of 26 Republicans Who Refused To Denounce White Supremacy
- James Comer KY-01
- Jim Jordan OH-04
- Mike Turner OH-10
- Paul Gosar AZ-09
- Virginia Foxx NC-05
- Glenn Grothman WI-06
- Gary Palmer AL-06
- Clay Higgins LA-03
- Pete Sessions TX-17
- Andy Biggs AZ-05
- Nancy Mace SC-01
- Jake LaTurner KS-02
- Pat Fallon TX-04
- Byron Donalds FL-19
- Kelly Armstrong ND
- Scott Perry PA-10
- William Timmons SC-04
- Tim Burchett TN-02
- Marjorie Taylor Greene GA-14
- Lisa McClain MI-09
- Lauren Boebert CO-03
- Russell Fry SC-7
- Anna Paulina Luna FL-13
- Chuck Edwards NC-11
- Nick Langworthy NY-23
- Eric Burlison MO-07