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Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) speaks during a press conference outside the DFL Headquarters on August 5, 2020 in St Paul, Minnesota.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) speaks during a press conference outside the DFL Headquarters on August 5, 2020 in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

'A Desperate Smear': Ilhan Omar Slams GOP Over Attempt to Distract From Bigotry of Marjorie Taylor Greene

"Republicans will do anything to distract from the fact that they have not only allowed but elevated members of their own caucus who encourage violence."

Jake Johnson

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota on Wednesday forcefully denounced House Republicans' effort to strip her of committee assignments as part of a bigoted smear campaign aimed at distracting attention from GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who Democrats are attempting to remove from congressional panels for promoting violence against lawmakers and peddling vile conspiracy theories.

"It's time to stop whitewashing the actions of the violent conspiracy theorists, who pose a direct and immediate threat to their fellow Members of Congress and our most fundamental democratic processes."
—Rep. Ilhan Omar

"Let's be clear: this is a desperate smear rooted in racism, misogyny, and Islamophobia," Omar said in a statement responding to an amendment by House Republicans, which seeks to replace Greene's name with Omar's in the Democratic resolution calling for removal of the freshman Georgia Republican from the budget and education committees.

Led by Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) and co-sponsored by Republican Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Ronny Jackson (Texas), Jody Hice (Ga.), and Jeff Duncan (S.C.), the GOP amendment accuses Omar of making "anti-Semitic comments"—alluding to a 2019 tweet in which the Minnesota Democrat said unwavering support for Israel in Congress is "all about the Benjamins," a reference to AIPAC's political influence.

Omar apologized for the tweet, while Greene has shown no regret for endorsing conspiracy theories about mass school shootings being staged or supporting the execution of Democratic lawmakers. The Georgia Republican is currently attempting to raise money off the efforts to remove her from congressional committees.

"Marjorie Taylor Greene has incited violence against her fellow members of Congress, repeatedly singling out prominent women of color," Omar said Wednesday. "She actively encouraged the insurrection on the Capitol that threatened my life and the life of every member of Congress, and resulted in multiple deaths. She ran a campaign ad holding an assault rifle next to my face. She came to the Capitol demanding that me and Rep. [Rashida] Tlaib swear in on the Christian bible instead of the Quran."

"The House Republican Caucus, instead of holding her accountable, is now fanning the flames," Omar continued. "Republicans will do anything to distract from the fact that they have not only allowed but elevated members of their own caucus who encourage violence. It's time to stop whitewashing the actions of the violent conspiracy theorists, who pose a direct and immediate threat to their fellow Members of Congress and our most fundamental democratic processes."

Tlaib (D-Mich.) voiced a similar message Wednesday, calling the Republican amendment a "false equivalency" and "a pathetically desperate smear."

"Marjorie Taylor Greene has incited violence against her fellow members of Congress," said Tlaib. "She's unfit to serve, even by today's GOP standards."

 "We applaud efforts to remove Marjorie Taylor Greene from House committees, but that is not enough. She should be expelled from Congress."
—Scott Simpson, Muslim Advocates

Earlier Wednesday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said that after speaking to Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), "it is clear there is no alternative to holding a floor vote on the resolution to remove Rep. Greene from her committee assignments."

"The Rules Committee will meet this afternoon, and the House will vote on the resolution tomorrow," added Hoyer.

During Wednesday's call with Hoyer, according to Politico, McCarthy "sought a commitment" from the House majority leader "to yank the resolution from the floor if Republicans agreed to move Greene from the House Education and Labor Committee to another panel." Hoyer refused the offer.

In a statement Wednesday, the rights group Muslim Advocates slammed the Republican "effort led by several anti-Muslim members of Congress" to strip Omar of her committee assignments and demanded that Greene be held fully accountable.

"Muslim members of Congress are facing legitimate threats on their lives because of the bigotry espoused by Rep. Greene and her allies in Congress," said Scott Simpson, the group's public advocacy director. "She has repeatedly singled out Muslim members of Congress because of their faith and broadcast multiple false, dangerous conspiracy theories about Muslims."

"Now that there is a chance that Rep. Greene may face some small consequence for her actions, she is hoping that bigotry will save her. Members of Congress must not let that happen," Simpson added. "We applaud efforts to remove Marjorie Taylor Greene from House committees, but that is not enough. She should be expelled from Congress."


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