Feb 02, 2021
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."
\u201cRepublicans desperate bad faith ploy to justify bigotry must be defeated. \n\nThey can not succeed in bullying their way out of accountability. \n\nThat\u2019s why this vote matters.\u201d— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar) 1612374553
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.
\u201cThis is disgusting. A bad faith attack on a progressive woman of color designed to distract from Marjorie Taylor Greene's reprehensible actions.\n\nWe join in solidarity with @Ilhan against the smear campaign.\u201d— Win Without War (@Win Without War) 1612382118
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."
We're optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.
We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter counts.
Your contribution supports this new media model—free, independent, and dedicated to uncovering the truth. Stand with us in the fight for social justice, human rights, and equality. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.