Never Again Education Act Gets Go-Ahead From House

Never Again monument (Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay)

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed bill H.R. 943, known as Never Again Education Act, to support Holocaust education across the country. The bill, introduced by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D—New York), came just a day after International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.

The bill passed with a final vote of 393-5, with 14 representatives abstaining. Fourteen Democrats, 22 Republicans and one Independent are among those who voted either “nay” or didn’t vote at all.

Congressman Tom Suozzi (D—Glen Cove), who was one of the first members of Congress to co-sponsor the bill, spoke on the House floor in favor of the legislation prior to the vote.

“‘Never Again’ is, sadly, not assured,” Suozzi said. “If we do not use the lessons of history to make enlightened moral choices, we risk turning a blind eye to the same hatred and anti-Semitism that formed the permissive foundation for genocide. I am proud to have cosponsored and voted for this critical legislation and will always support legislation like it, so we ensure that ‘Never Again’ is assured by future generations.”

Suozzi, a vice chair of the problem solvers caucus, has been a fierce advocate for the Never Again Education Act, and has helped secure bipartisan support for the legislation. Once the legislation garnered 290 cosponsors, it had to be brought to a vote on the House floor, due to rules that Suozzi and the problem solvers caucus negotiated with House leadership at the start of the 116th Congress.

“As we recommit ourselves to the promise of ‘Never Again’ on this 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, I am reminded that the lessons of the Holocaust do not just apply to anti-Semitism,” Maloney said. “But to all forms of hate and bigotry and I can think of no better way to honor the memories of those murdered than to make sure our students know their names and their stories. If we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. I urge the Senate to act quickly on this bill.”

In October of 2019, Suozzi, along with fellow vice-chair of the problem solvers caucus, Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), filmed a video in support of The Never Again Education Act.

As a member of the Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism, Suozzi has been leading the fight against anti-Semitism and hate since being elected to Congress. Earlier this month, he led the entire Long Island Congressional delegation in sending a letter to top national security officials calling for an investigation into foreign adversaries continuing use of social media and other efforts to foment hate and civil unrest across America.

“We are pleased that the House has taken action today, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, to ensure that the lessons of the Holocaust will be passed from one generation to the next,” Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti Defamation League, said. “We look forward to this law’s swift passage and to working closely with teachers and districts across the country to ensure that Holocaust education is uniform and consistent across the country.”

The bill now moves to the Senate. Upon approval, it will be signed into law by the president.

Joseph Wolkin
Joseph Wolkin is the former editor of the Levittown Tribune, Syosset-Jericho Tribune and Anton Media Group's automotive special section and county news section. A graduate of Stony Brook University, Joseph has been published in dozens of publications. He is the author of Grandma: The Story Of A Boy And His Grandma.

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