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Republicans Continue ‘Hateful, Bigoted’ Blockade of Muslim Biden Nominee

  • For the 4th time, Republicans boycotted a listening to for Biden’s highest-ranking nominee who is Muslim.
  • Republicans have accused Dilawar Syed of anti-Semitism, a cost that leading Jewish teams have refuted.
  • Advocacy teams and Senate Democrats are decrying the blockade as “bigoted” and “personalized.”

For the fourth time, Senate Republicans blocked the thing to consider of Dilawar Syed, the CEO of a healthcare AI company and President Joe Biden’s nominee to provide as deputy administrator of the Modest Company Administration, in the Senate’s Modest Organization Committee. If confirmed, Syed would be the maximum-position formal in the federal governing administration who is a practising Muslim.

Syed is not the only Biden nominee struggling with a blockade — Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley have place a maintain on a lot of of the president’s diplomatic and national security-linked nominees as effectively. But this blockade, according to Senate Democrats and spiritual advocacy teams, is unique.

“We are not exactly positive what they want,” reported Sen. Ben Cardin, the chair of the committee in which Syed’s nomination continues to be held up. “This is obstructionist, and it is really incredibly individual to Mr. Syed.”

“In his situation, some of the arguments they’ve lifted are… not persuasive,” stated Sen. Mazie Hirono, a Democratic member of the committee. 

The GOP blockade has held up the business of the committee for months as Republicans have boycotted a number of scheduled committee conferences in get to deny the committee a quorum, introducing a further more layer of aggravation for Democrats.

“We can discussion the issues, we can discussion the particular person, but to deny a quorum is not good to the little organization entrepreneurs who require help all over the place,” Sen. Jacky Rosen instructed Insider. Democrats have sought to highlight the need to fill the SBA position as tiny firms battle to emerge from the results of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Republicans have seized on Syed’s membership on the board of Emgage Action, a Muslim-American advocacy group. Hawley spearheaded a letter with other Republicans on the committee that particularly known as out as “anti-Semitic” a line from a person of the group’s push releases that described Palestinians as “occupied” and Israel as “the occupier.”

Republicans also accused Syed of supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which Syed has explicitly disavowed, noting that he’s “personally performed enterprise with Israeli corporations.”

And POLITICO reported in August that an aide to Republican Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho flagged Syed’s Pakistani heritage in a June electronic mail to committee associates — a element that has no bearing on Syed’s skills to do the work and 1 that each advocacy teams and Democratic senators have highlighted as an example of the “flagrant anti-Muslim bias” animating Republican opposition to the nominee.

An August letter to the committee from the Management Conference on Civil and Human Rights touted Jewish groups’ help for Syed, denouncing the Republicans’ boycott of the committee as “tinged with religious bigotry and xenophobia.”

And Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of most likely the most influential business combatting anti-Semitism, informed the Every day Beast that it was “painful to see the attacks on Mr. Syed’s candidacy for the reason that of his association with Emgage” and that “we will need him verified.” 

Senate Democrats mostly concur. The greater part Leader Chuck Schumer explained on Twitter on Wednesday that Democrats ended up “combating the Republican hateful, bigoted marketing campaign towards this nominee.”

“It is shameful, unacceptable, and absurd for Republicans to keep stalling on Mr. Syed’s nomination,” Schumer explained on the Senate floor. “He is eminently qualified to serve in the SBA.”

“One could conclude that they are becoming very bigoted and essential,” stated Hirono. “But because when does that faze the Republicans in their opposition to anything?”

Cardin, for his part, referred to as the attacks “individual” and “inappropriate.”

Hawley informed Insider on Thursday that Syed’s affiliation with Emgage — which even labored with Sen. Rubio’s business in 2019 on a invoice to protect Uyghur human legal rights — is a “non-starter.”

“Particularly in this time of heightened violence for Jewish Individuals, you can find no way I’m heading to guidance any individual who has been bash to anti-Israel, anti-Semitic reviews,” Hawley mentioned. “No way.”

But when questioned by Insider about the ADL’s apparent endorsement of Syed, Hawley only reiterated his placement. “It can be my vote, it is really my responsibility,” he claimed. 

Achieved for comment, Rubio’s business office directed Insider to a tweet by the committee’s Republicans that said they is not going to allow a vote on Syed right until the Small Business enterprise Administration tries to recuperate PPP financial loans provided out to Prepared Parenthood branches. Sen. Roger Marshall’s workplace also flagged the difficulty when requested by Insider about the blockade.

And Sen. Rand Paul, the committee’s position Republican who did not sign on to Hawley’s letter, wrote in an op-ed today that his opposition to voting on Syed is also related to PPP financial loans specified to Prepared Parenthood.

But Senate Democrats are not getting that rationale both.

“Each individual time we try out to accommodate their requests, they shift the goalposts,” said Cardin, noting that Syed has “absolutely nothing to do with” Prepared Parenthood.

The workplaces of Sens. Rand Paul, Jim Risch, Tim Scott,  Joni Ernst, Jim Inhofe, Todd Younger, and John Kennedy — all of whom sit on the committee — did not react to requests for comment.