At a press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that a resolution honoring the late singer was “unnecessary.”
She said there was 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 also said that it would open up unneeded controversy — or as she put, “A resolution would open up contrary views that are not necessary at this time to
be expressed in association with a resolution whose purpose is quite different.”
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) vowed to pursue such a resolution in a speech at Jackson’s memorial service on Tuesday. But it threatened to blow up into a bigger issue than it needed to be. Resolutions honoring famous entertainers who have just passed are almost routine — but such figures as Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) already is on record opposing such an honor, citing allegations of child molestation against the singer. But his comments earned a sharp rebuke from Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a revered figure in the civil rights movement.
Pelosi’s comments below (at the 5:00 mark).