Rep. Ilhan Omar facing rebuke by Democrats on House floor

Democrats are reportedly formulating a resolution following more claims of anti-Semitism.
Publish date:

Less than two months into her tenure as a member of Congress, Rep. Ilhan Omar is facing an unusual rebuke on the House floor by her own party.

Politico is reporting that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats will "take floor action" on Wednesday, in response to another comment by Omar that has led to more claims she is using anti-Semitic language.

The resolution won't mention Omar by name, but will demand a condemnation of anti-Semitism after a comment Omar made last week.

"I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country," she said, per NBC.

"I want to ask, 'Why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the NRA, or fossil fuel industries or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobbying group that is influencing policy?'"

This has led to accusations that she is referring to Jewish people as having dual loyalties, which has long been an anti-Semitic trope, with Omar repeating it as she responded to criticism of the comment on Twitter on Sunday.

The House resolution has been composed by several Jewish lawmakers, Politico notes, among them her fellow Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips, who represents the 4th District.

You can read it here.

The news has sparked questions as to why a similar resolution is not being drafted to condemn Islamophobia.

The wording of the resolution makes only a brief mention that Muslims too have been subject claims of dual loyalty post 9/11, and that Muslim-American members of Congress have been victims of "unfounded, vicious attacks."

While the resolution doesn't name Omar, that last line is a direct reference to her given that she has been subjected to an assassination threat in Minnesota in the past week, as well as being linked to terrorism in a racist poster that appeared in a West Virginia statehouse.

Other supporters of Omar state that she has every right to challenge American policy on Israel, with hashtag #IStandWithIlhan trending on Twitter on Monday evening.

Tuesday's resolution has also prompted questions as to why Republicans haven't received similar scrutiny or action for their own racist and anti-Semitic comments.

Iowa Rep. Steve King has long supported white nationalist causes and dealt in anti-immigrant rhetoric, but it was only in January – after he had been in the House for 15 years – that the GOP took punitive action by removing him from committee assignments.

Meanwhile fellow GOP Rep. Jim Jordan was himself the subject of anti-Semitic accusations this weekend after he used a dollar sign in place of the "S" in the name of a Jewish businessman.

Omar had this to say on Sunday.

Nonetheless, the way Omar expresses opposition to the Netanyahu regime continues to land her in hot water.

Last month, she criticized the undue influence of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on U.S. policy on Israel, suggesting the support it gets in Congress is "all about the Benjamins."

Several Jewish Minnesota state politicians said they met with Omar recently to try and impress upon her the need to be aware of damaging Jewish stereotypes.

State Sen. Ron Latz said they were "very troubled by the answers" she gave, telling the Pioneer Press he was "not convinced she was going to give a balanced approach to policy in the Middle East, and I was not convinced … where her heart is on these things."

Next Up