WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) announced that she helped introduce bipartisan legislation to upgrade the State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism to the rank of an ambassador and require its Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation. The legislation was introduced by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). The purpose of this position would include monitoring and combating anti-Semitism globally.
“Anti-Semitism is rising at an alarming rate and we have an obligation to put a stop to this disturbing trend by calling out hate, bigotry, and anti-Semitism when we see it. There’s no excuse for this key position to have been kept vacant for two years under the Trump Administration,” said Senator Rosen. “In the House, I was part of a bipartisan task force to end anti-Semitism and I fought to ensure the State Department appointed a special envoy to combat anti-Semitism. I was proud to help advance this legislation last Congress and I’ll continue to work across the aisle to ensure we take real steps to address this issue globally.”
BACKGROUND: Last Congress, Rosen co-sponsored this bipartisan legislation and helped advance it in the House, where it passed by a vote of 393-2. Earlier this year, companion legislation passed the House 411-1. As the only former synagogue President serving in Congress, Senator Rosen has been an outspoken advocate of combating anti-Semitism in the United States, the Middle East, Europe, and around the world. In addition to being a member of the Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism when she was in the House, Senator Rosen was the co-lead with Illinois Congressman Brad Schneider of a successful appropriations amendment to require the State Department to maintain the Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, rather than close it or merge it with another office.
According to FBI data, hate crimes rose 17% last year — the third annual increase in a row — and anti-Semitic hate crimes rose 37%. Under this legislation, the Special Envoy would become a person of recognized distinction in the field of combating anti-Semitism and religious freedom. The Special Envoy would be required to report directly to the Secretary of State and he or she would be prohibited from being tasked with other issue portfolios outside this task.
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