Jackson Lee Sees Future For Jackson Resolution
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) says she doesn't believe the Democratic leadership has taken her resolution memorializing Michael Jackson off the table forever, and is still hopeful the measure will be considered, even if not immediately.
"This is not a resolution that any of us introduced to pass this week," Jackson Lee said in a telephone interview with the Sleuth late Thursday night. "I want this to be like good wine."
The congresswoman said she never intended for the lengthy resolution to be taken up this week, or even next, and that she doesn't believe House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has closed the door on bringing the resolution to the House floor later in the 111th Congress.
Pelosi, however, certainly seemed to convey that the Jackson resolution will not see the light of day. She told reporters earlier Thursday that while there is "lots of sadness" over Jackson's passing, "I don't think it's necessary for us to have a resolution."
There has been a feeling among Democratic leaders that interrupting their work on landmark health care legislation in order to honor a pop star whose eccentric behavior included sharing a bed with young boys and taking drugs may not, perhaps, be the wisest political move.
The speaker said individual members are free to express their sympathy or praise Jackson's work any time they wish, but legislating those feelings via a resolution would "open up to contrary views that are not necessary at this time." (Hello, Peter King! The Long Island Republican last week expressed disgust with the media frenzy over Jackson's death and labeled the singer a "pervert" and a "pedophile.")
Jackson Lee, who is no relation to Michael Jackson but became personally fond of him when she hosted the pop superstar on Capitol Hill in 2004, said she interpreted Pelosi's comments simply to mean there won't be a resolution any time soon.
"It's a question of timing. . . . I expect this will take some time," Jackson Lee said, noting that the resolution must first go through the committee process. In this case, since the resolution focuses on Michael Jackson's humanitarian efforts, the measure will be referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, according to Jackson Lee.
But there may never be enough time to convince the Congressman Kings of Congress that they should vote for a measure that hails Michael Jackson as "an American legend and musical icon." Jackson Lee called Rep. King a "good friend" but she said there is "no evidence that what he said (about Michael Jackson) is true."
Mary Ann Akers
July 10, 2009; 5:46 AM ET
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