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Rep. Bobby Rush. Photo: Axios

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) criticized Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) attempts to block an anti-lynching bill that has bipartisan support, saying Friday the Kentucky senator wants to "gut the bill."

What he's saying: "I think he's acting as a scoundrel here. I think he’ll be treated and defined as a scoundrel that's standing in the pathway, standing in the doorway of passing a federal anti-lynching bill, after over 100 years of attempting to pass an anti-lynching bill," he said during a virtual Axios event on Friday.

The big picture: Rush introduced legislation that has bipartisan support called the Emmett Till Anti-lynching Act that would make lynching a federal crime.

  • The Senate passed a version that is very similar to the House's, but Rush wants to keep Till's name in the bill. This week Paul put a block on the bill so it would not be considered.
  • Sens. Kamala Harris, Bobby Scott and Cory Booker have spoken to Paul to gain his support.
  • Paul introduced changes he said "would prevent those involved in minor altercations from being charged with lynching and receiving a 10-year sentence," per USA Today.

Background: There have been about 200 efforts in the past to pass a law to make lynching illegal.

  • The bill is named in memory of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black teenager who was murdered in Mississippi in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman.

For the record:

  • "I think he's trying to gut the bill," Rush said. "I really believe he's trying to gut the bill, and the bill is a compromise. It's not my original wording."
  • "If it doesn’t pass now, then I don't believe that it will pass."
  • "I'm an optimist. I'm a praying man. I really believe that this bill has reached a moment, lending a confluence of history coming together in this time. That there's going to be a public outcry ... and there's no federal legislation in this time against lynching."

Of note: Rush is also planning to introduce an additional piece of legislation dealing with federal crimes and lynching as soon as next week that would define the death of George Floyd as a lynching.

Watch the virtual event

Go deeper

Rep. Rice demands Cuomo resign after 3rd woman accuses him of misconduct

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February news conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) on Monday evening called for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to resign, after a third woman accused him of inappropriate behavior.

Driving the news: Anna Ruch, a former member of the Obama administration and the 2020 Biden campaign, told the New York Times Monday that Cuomo asked to kiss her at a New York City wedding reception in September 2019.

Scoop: Inside the GOP's plan to retake the House

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Republicans will reclaim their majority in 2022 by offering candidates who are women, minorities or veterans, a memo obtained by Axios says.

Why it matters: The document, drafted by a super PAC blessed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, names top Democrats to target — Jared Golden of Maine, Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania and Ron Kind of Wisconsin — and the type of Republican candidates to beat them.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Trump talked out of early Ohio endorsement

Jane Timken at a 2017 Trump rally. Photo: Kyle Mazza/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Donald Trump had to be talked out of making an early endorsement in Ohio's 2022 U.S. Senate race, a sign of his eagerness to reengage politically, people familiar with the conversations tell Axios.

What we're hearing: The former president discussed endorsing former state GOP chair Jane Timken last week during a meeting at Mar-a-Lago with RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, but top advisers — including Donald Trump Jr. — urged him to wait.

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