During the Michael Jackson memorial on Tuesday, Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas proudly proclaimed her support for House Resolution 600 in praise of the King of Pop, even holding up a copy of her proposal honoring the singer for his humanitarian efforts during a lengthy, loving speech about the singer.
A number of Republicans in the House — most notoriously New York Representative Peter King — were quick to shoot down the effort and on Wednesday, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined the chorus. While she said she would allow fellow House members to express their sorrow over the pop icon's passing, Pelosi stated emphatically that she didn't think a resolution was necessary.
According to a transcript of her weekly press conference provided by her office, when asked at a news conference if she would support the resolution, Pelosi said, "Michael Jackson was a great, great performer ... [there's] lots of sadness there for many reasons."
She went on to say there is plenty of "opportunity on the floor of the House to express their sympathy or their praise any time that they wish. I don't think it's necessary for us to have a resolution." She added that a resolution would open up Jackson's life to "contrary views that are not necessary at this time to be expressed in association with a resolution whose purpose is quite different," seemingly referring to the more sordid elements of Jackson's life, including two allegations of child molestation and allegations that he abused prescription medication.
The non-binding resolution proposed by Jackson Lee — who noted during her speech on Tuesday that Jackson was acquitted on criminal charges of sexual molestation of a child in 2005 — would have been a symbolic gesture from lawmakers with no legal or political implications. Pelosi's spokesperson said the House Speaker was not available at press time for further comment and a spokesperson for Jackson Lee could not be reached for comment.
For complete coverage of the life, career and passing of the legendary entertainer, visit "Michael Jackson Remembered."
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