Pelosi Expected to Strip Boebert of Committees Over Anti-Islamic Statements
WASHINGTON – Democrats in Congress are waiting to see whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi follows through on a reported promise of sanctions against a Republican congresswoman who made anti-Islamic statements about a political rival.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., said Sunday that Pelosi made a “promise to me that she will take care of this, and I believe her.”
The Somalia-born lawmaker was interviewed on CNN’s “State of the Union” talk show about comments by Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo. She called on Boebert to be stripped of her committee assignments, which would undermine most of her authority in Congress.
If Pelosi follows Omar’s suggestion, Boebert would be the third conservative Republican to be removed from committees this year by a majority vote of Congress. The others are Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz.
The move would also come as a House select panel prepares to release recommendations on how to improve civility on Capitol Hill.
Boebert serves on the Committee on Natural Resources, the Committee on the Budget and two subcommittees.
Her on again off again feud with Omar has gone on for nearly six months.
In May, after Israeli airstrikes killed at least 21 people in the Gaza Strip, Omar strongely criticized the military action, saying “killing civilians in Gaza is an act of terrorism” and adding “Palestinians deserve protection.”
Boebert then responded with a tweet that said, “@IlhanMN should decide whether she wants to be a Congresswoman or a full-time propagandist for Hamas.”
Her attacks on Omar resumed in September at a Republican fundraiser, where she talked about riding a Capitol elevator with Omar.
“We’re going back to my office, and we get in the elevator, and I see a Capitol Police officer running, hurriedly, to the elevator. I see fret all over his face, and he’s reaching. ‘And I’m like the door is shutting, I can’t open it, what’s happening?’” Boebert said in a video of her remarks that became public last month. “I look to my left, and there she is. Ilhan Omar. And I said, ‘Well, she doesn’t have a backpack, we should be fine.’”
The congresswoman is also heard on the video referring to Omar as part of the “jihad squad,” just a week after using the same rhetoric on the House floor.
Omar responded by saying, “Anti-Muslim bigotry isn’t funny and shouldn’t be normalized.”
Boebert later apologized in a tweet.
“I apologize to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar,” she wrote. “I have reached out to her office to speak with her directly. There are plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction.”
The two spoke by phone to iron out their differences but it ended badly. Boebert reportedly said Omar should apologize publicly for some of her statements about the Colorado lawmaker. Omar hung up on her.
Boebert’s fellow Republicans have not endorsed her comments or behavior toward Omar. They just refuse to take any action against her.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said last week Boebert does not need to be punished after she apologized through Twitter. He also accused Democrats of making inflammatory remarks that outraged Republicans.
Pelosi had not yet announced sanctions against Boebert by Monday afternoon.
Nevertheless, Omar’s comments about Pelosi on CNN Sunday left little doubt they were coming.
“As you know, when I first got to Congress, I was worried that I wasn’t going to be allowed to be sworn in because there was a ban on the hijab,” Omar said. “She promised me she would take care of it. She fulfilled that promise. She’s made another promise to me she will take care of this, and I believe her.”
The Well News reached out to both Boebert or Omar’s offices and will update this story when they respond.
Tom can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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