Big Beef in Congress: Shelia Jackson Lee vs Peter King Over Michael Jackson
*Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston took the stage at Michael Jackson’s public memorial on Tuesday and pushed for a House resolution that would officially honor the King of Pop “forever and forever and forever and forever and forever.”
But if some on Capitol Hill have their way, the resolution will never even see tomorrow.
Introduced on June 26, the day after Jackson’s death, House Resolution 600 lists several charitable acts by the singer over his long career and proclaims him as an American legend, musical icon and world humanitarian.
While holding up a framed copy to enthusiastic applause from the Staples Center crowd, the Texas Democrat gave folks a taste of how the measure will be debated on the House floor.
“We understand the Constitution. We understand laws and we know people are innocent until proven otherwise. That is what the Constitution stands for,” Jackson Lee said, of course referring to Jackson’s past allegations of child molestation.
The assertion was brought up in recent days by New York Republican congressman Pete King, who called Jackson a “pervert, child molester, pedophile” in a video he posted on YouTube.
Without mentioning King by name, Jackson Lee reminded everyone that Michael Jackson was acquitted of child molestation charges, and criticized those who “don’t understand the hearts of entertainers” and “don’t know how they heal the world on behalf of America.”
After Jackson Lee’s speech at Jackson’s service, King vowed Tuesday to do “whatever I have to do” to oppose the legislation.
According to the Associated Press, the Michael Jackson resolution is currently sitting in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, of which Jackson Lee is a member and King is not.
Usually, non-controversial resolutions honoring a person who has died or carried out a noteworthy accomplishment move quickly from committee to the House floor and then pass on a voice vote. An opponent could ask for a recorded vote, which then requires a two-thirds majority for passage. So far, Jackson Lee’s resolution has just one co-sponsor, Rep. Diane Watson, D-Calif.
In noting the pop icon’s humanitarian efforts, Jackson Lee said he visited her Capitol Hill office in 2004 to discuss a tour with African ambassadors that would raise money to fight AIDS. But his child molestation charges at the time prevented him from leaving the country without a court order. Jackson Lee also mentioned Jackson’s visit to wounded veterans of the Iraq war at Walter Reed Hospital while in Washington.