On Thursday (February 2nd), the Republican majority prepared to vote to remove Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from the Foreign Affairs Committee. Their reasoning was tied to claims that Ms. Omar was over comments that she made in the past that they deemed antisemitic.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez took to the House floor to call out the GOP members’ hypocrisy as she defended her Democratic colleague. “Now as also as a fellow New Yorker, I think one of the things we should talk about here is also one of the disgusting legacies of 9/11 has been the targeting and racism against Muslim Americans throughout the United States of America. And this is an extension of that legacy,” she began.
Her voice rising, Ocasio-Cortez referenced her treatment by far-right Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), who had previously attacked her with an offensive tweet. “I had a member of the Republican caucus threaten my life,” she said. “And the Republican caucus rewarded him with one of the most prestigious committee assignments. Don’t tell me this is about consistency.”
She would go on to attack Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for her racism & conspiracy theories including “Jewish space lasers”, remarking that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has already rewarded her with plum committee assignments for her support of his speakership. Ocasio-Cortez finished her speech, punctuating it by slapping her book on the podium: “This is about targeting women of color in the United States of America. Don’t tell me, because I didn’t get a single apology when my life was threatened. Thank you.”
Rep. Omar, who is one of two women Muslim representatives elected to the House along with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) in 2018, has been a constant target of right-wingers. Before the 218-211 vote to remove her, she spoke on the floor, saying: “I am Muslim. I am an immigrant. And interestingly, from Africa,” Ms. Omar said. “Is anyone surprised that I am being targeted?” She concluded amid the applause of her Democratic colleagues: “Take your vote or not — I am here to stay.”