PA Reps issue discharge petition on bill after saying Dems have “failed to take a sufficiently clear stance” on antisemitism

24 June 2024- Today, Reps. Kristin Marcell (R-Bucks), Martina White (R-Philadelphia), and Rob Mercuri (R-Allegheny) held a press conference to announce a discharge resolution for House Bill 1986. The resolution is in response to the Democratic majority’s failure to advance any legislation to address the rise of antisemitic actions and confrontations that have been occurring on college campuses and in Pennsylvania communities. While several legislators have introduced legislation to counter antisemitism, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives has failed to take a sufficiently clear stance on this issue.

The discharge resolution is for House Bill 1986, which requires transparency in Holocaust and genocide education. “With an Economist poll finding that 1 in 5 young Americans believe the Holocaust is a myth, it is clear we need to ensure our children understand the profound impact of these historical events and recognize the importance of combating antisemitism in all its forms,” said Marcell. “Despite a growing number of antisemitic incidents across the Commonwealth, the Democratic majority has failed to act on any legislation this session to address these issues.”

The full letter to Pennsylvania House Speaker Joanna McClinton can be found HERE.

White announced she is introducing two pieces of legislation to fight antisemitism on campuses and in public spaces. The first bill would not fund higher educational institutions that support or promote antisemitism.

“Pennsylvania taxpayers should not enable or support antisemitism,” said White. “We must protect our Jewish students and hold these institutions accountable.”

The second bill from White would prohibit the wearing of face coverings and masks in public spaces, with limited exceptions. “Too many perpetrators of antisemitic acts use masks to hide their identities,” said White. “This legislation will ensure that those who commit these crimes cannot evade justice.”

Mercuri will introduce legislation that mandates any universities receiving state funding must have anti-harassment policies in place that address antisemitism. “This is a commonsense measure to ensure every student and employee at our universities can feel safe on campus,” said Mercuri. “By enacting these policies, we can keep improving the accountability and transparency of our universities to the taxpayers.”