House Republicans, led by Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy are pushing forward with an effort to punish Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar following remarks she made comparing the United States and Israel to terrorist regimes, Hamas and the Taliban — even after Democrats refused to take action against her.
Republicans are pressing on with a privileged resolution to strip Omar of her position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee following the remarks.
Speaker of the House Democrat Nancy Pelosi refused to condemn Omar for her remarks, calling Omar a “valued” member of the Democratic caucus, and insisting that a statement Pelosi made last week on Omar’s comments was not a “rebuke,” but rather a message of “thanks” for a “clarification” Omar issued late Thursday.
“We did not rebuke her,” Pelosi said. “We thanked — acknowledged that she made a clarification.”
Last week, Omar wrote, in a tweet, “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”
She later said that she was referencing cases before the International Criminal Court while in conversation with Secretary of State Antony Bliken, but did not point to specific examples of American and Israeli “atrocities” or “crimes against humanity.”
McCarthy is expected to fast-track a motion to remove Omar from her committee assignment, similar to what Democrats did with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene when they didn’t agree with remarks made by her. The motion is marked as “privileged” putting it ahead of other House business.
Eight Republicans sent a letter to Pelosi late last week demanding the Speaker take her own action against the Minnesota Democrat, reminding Pelosi that “it is the responsibility of the party’s leadership in the House of Representatives to hold accountable egregious words and actions made by Members of the Party.”
“Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has made a congressional career out of the following: Fueling anti-Semitic violence against Jewish communities by perpetuating false stereotypes and anti-Semitic tropes; denigrating strategic allies of the United States; accusing members of Congress of unconstitutionally pleading allegiance to a foreign sovereign because of their support of the U.S.-Israel partnership; whitewashing the September 11 terrorist attacks that resulted in the death of over 3,000 innocent Americans, and drawing [an] equivalence between the United States and criminal organizations such as Hamas and the Taliban—both of which have been deemed by the Department of State as terrorist organizations,” they wrote.
Republicans have also unleashed another separate resolution pushing censure against Omar and other members of the “Squad” that rushed to her defense, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who accused Pelosi of “policing women of color.”
Democrats appear to be concerned, however, with policing internal conflict instead.
Omar lashed out at Jewish Democrats who broke with party leadership and condemned her remarks, and members of the “Squad” quickly followed suit.
Omar accused her colleagues of “harassment” and “Islamophobia.” Ocasio-Cortez accused the group of “constant vilification, intentional mischaracterization, and public targeting of @IlhanMN” and Tlaib tweeted that “Freedom of speech doesn’t exist for Muslim women in Congress. The benefit of the doubt doesn’t exist for Muslim women in Congress. House Democratic leadership should be ashamed of its relentless, exclusive tone policing of Congresswomen of color.”
Author: Bradley Wither