Politics

Jackson's Death Sparks Fierce Debate in Congress

Michael Jackson's death -- and controversial life -- has sparked a fierce debate in Congress, with one Democrat introducing a resolution to honor the King of Pop as a "humanitarian" and a Republican representative blasting America's obsession with a "lowlife."

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas, is calling on Congress to recognize Jackson as a "global humanitarian and a noted leader in the fight against worldwide hunger and medical crises" and celebrate the King of Pop as "an accomplished contributor to the worlds of arts and entertainment, scientific advances in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, and global food security."

The resolution, which was referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the day after Jackson's death June 25, lists the singer's accomplishments as a musical icon in detail, including his record-breaking album sales and two-time induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

The resolution also cites Jackson's "humanitarian" work, including his 1984 visit to a burn unit at a Los Angeles hospital and his decision to grant a dying 14-year-old's request to visit his home. 

Click here to read the resolution.   

But while Jackson-Lee is pushing for lawmakers to honor Jackson, one New York congressman has blasted the King of Pop as a "pervert" and called on society to stop "glorifying" the late entertainer in a YouTube video posted Monday.  

Rep. Peter King said Jackson -- whom he called a "lowlife" -- is being glorified in the days after his death while society ignores the efforts, of teachers, police officers, firefighters and veterans.

In the two-minute video, King claims the "day in and day out" coverage of Jackson's death is "too politically correct."

"Let's knock out the psychobabble," King said in the video taped outside an American Legion Hall on New York's Long Island. "He was a pervert, a child molester; he was a pedophile. And to be giving this much coverage to him, day in and day out, what does it say about us as a country? I just think we're too politically correct."

King, a Republican who is among the possible contenders for the seat held by Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, said Jackson "may have been a good singer" and "did some dancing," but blasted the singer as someone who could not be trusted around children.

"There's nothing good to say about this guy," King continued. "But the bottom line is, would you let your child or grandchild be in the same room as Michael Jackson?"

Multiple calls placed to King on Monday were not returned. In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, King defended his comments, saying Jackson had "admitted to sleeping with young boys, traveling with young boys ... That's the definition of pedophilia."

King said he decided to post the video after speaking with constituents over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

"A number of them were mentioning to me, 'When's this stuff with Michael Jackson going to end?" King said. "It's just too much."

Jackson family spokesman Ken Sunshine declined to comment saying the Jackson family is preparing for the funeral. 

An attorney for Jermaine Jackson, Michael's older brother, called King's comments "highly inflammatory" and defamatory.

"Michael Jackson was found not guilty and to state with such vehement affirmation that he was something that he was not is a reflection of the congressman's lack of respect for the rule of law, which ironically he was elected to uphold," attorney Vicki Roberts told FOXNews.com.

Judge Andrew Napolitano, FOX News' senior judicial analyst, said there's "no cause for action" for defaming the dead.

"Thus, no lawsuit may successfully be brought against [King]," Napolitano said.

In 2005, Jackson was acquitted of molesting a boy who spent time at his Neverland ranch and appeared with him in the 2003 British documentary, "Living With Michael Jackson." 

The entertainer had been accused of plying the boy with alcohol and groping him.
Earlier, in 1993, Jackson was accused of molesting a boy who often stayed at his home. The singer denied any wrongdoing, reached a settlement with the boy's family -- reported to be $25 million -- and criminal charges were never filed.

FOXNews.com's Joshua Miller and The Associated Press contributed to this report.