Politics Stalls House Resolution to Honor Pope Francis

Image: Politics Stalls House Resolution to Honor Pope Francis (Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters/Landov)

Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 04:47 PM

By Cathy Burke

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An apparently innocuous resolution intended to honor Pope Francis is having trouble making its way through the House of Representatives —  reportedly mired in politics because some lawmakers view the pontiff as "too liberal."

The measure, written by Connecticut Democratic Rep. John Larson and New York Republican Rep. Peter King, congratulates Francis on his March 2013 election and recognizes "his inspirational statements and actions," The Hill reports.

But the House Foreign Affairs Committee hasn't acted on the resolution.

Francis: Who Is Pope Francis? Book Reveals the Man

An unnamed Republican backer told The Hill on Tuesday that some colleagues may be wary of the pontiff's politics, noting Francis' denunciation last year of "trickle-down"economics.

The GOP official said there are lawmakers who think Francis is "sounding like [President Barack] Obama."

"[The pope] talks about equality — he actually used the term 'trickle-down economics,' which is politically charged," the GOP official told The Hill.

The measure has only 19 Republican co-sponsors out of a total of 221.

Larson on Friday wrote to House Speaker John Boehner asking that there be a vote on the stalled resolution, The Hill reported.

The letter pointed out that Boehner issued an invitation in March for Francis to address Congress.

"To my knowledge, this would be an historic first," Larson wrote, The Hill reported.

"I ask that you take a look at a bipartisan resolution introduced by Rep. Peter King and myself, acknowledging the first Pope from the Americas . . . it is my sincere hope that you will consider this resolution for the suspension calendar for a vote,."

Boehner, Larson and King are all Catholic, The Hill reported.

"The speaker's invited him to speak. It would give it more significance if there was an actual official resolution about it," King told The Hill.

Salon chided Republicans' resistance as "a good example of what is currently the leading motivation of most GOP policy stances today: all-out opposition to President Obama."

Francis: Who Is Pope Francis? Book Reveals the Man

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