House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday shot down a resolution to honor Michael Jackson, saying that the proposed measure could raise supposed "contrary views" about the King of Pop’s life and legacy.
Lawmakers still have the freedom, however, to use House speeches "to express their sympathy or their praise any time that they wish," Pelosi said.
"A resolution, I think, would open up contrary views…that are not necessary at this time to be expressed," Pelosi said at a Capitol Hill news conference Thursday.
During Jackson’s memorial service at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said she was sponsoring a resolution that calls the singer an American legend and musical icon, honoring him for his charitable work.
While on stage, she held up an important looking framed copy of the resolution, embossed with a gold seal.
Jackson Lee said resolutions of this kind don’t usually "pass the next day," and that she will continue to seek support from those who initially cheered the measure after it was introduced on June 26, a day after the pop star died.
She would need support from Democrats for the resolution to pass from the House Foreign Affairs Commitee to the full House for debate. Still, the resolution initially onlly had one co-sponsor, Rep. Diane Watson, D-Calif.
And when those in the Congressional Black Caucus had a moment of silence in the House after Jackson died, emotions were stirred as some walked out of the chamber.
Rep Peter King, R-N.Y., who in a YouTube video he posted this week called Jackson a "pervert, child molester, pedophile," was one of those eager to block the resolution.
"We understand the Constitution. We understand laws, and we know people are innocent until proven otherwise," Rep. Jackson Lee said at the memorial. "That is what the Constitution stands for."
In 2004, the Congresswoman hosted a meeting in her Capitol Hill office with ambassadors to the U.S from African countries and Michael Jackson when the singer was trying to organize a tour to raise money for the AIDS battle. That plan never came to fruition, as he couldn’t leave the country without court permission as he faced the child molestation charges.