A group of House Democrats says congressional leaders in both parties must move to punish Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert for comments suggesting Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar is a terrorist.
Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and others announced the introduction of a resolution Wednesday that would condemn Boebert for describing Omar as a terrorist in a recently uncovered video.
The resolution would strip Boebert of both of her committee assignments. Democrats said the resolution is in response to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, refusing to take steps to punish Boebert.
“The pattern is now accepted that Leader McCarthy encourages and is accepting of this targeting, particularly of women of color in the United States Congress,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Democrats argued action must be taken because violent rhetoric voiced by Boebert and other Democrats has provoked threats against them.
Ocasio-Cortez said targeted members require a half-dozen security guards and protection from armored vehicles.
Democratic leaders say the caucus is discussing options for addressing Boebert’s comments.
Republicans Wednesday said Boebert has apologized for the remarks about Omar, and they accused Democrats of failing to hold their own members accountable for provocative comments.
Omar and Tlaib have been the subject of intense criticism for antisemitic tweets and comments.
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“They don't even ask their own members to apologize for things that were said, let alone go after their members,” House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, of Louisiana, said. “They want it to be a one-sided thing, and I think that hypocrisy is showing.”
Omar did not appear at Pressley’s press conference on Wednesday.
Tlaib, a fellow Muslim, broke into tears describing the threats against Omar.
“She was evoking violence against Muslims, all across this country,” Tlaib said. “Women in politics — the violence toward us is increasing, and all we want to do is serve the community that brought us here. We shouldn’t have to beg Republicans to do what’s right here.”
Democratic leaders can punish Boebert by allowing a vote on Pressley’s resolution, but that has not happened so far.
“We’ve been in ongoing conversation with Democratic leadership, and I’m confident action will be taken,” Pressley said. “And it must because inaction is to be complicit in Islamophobia.”
House Democratic leaders for now may be hitting the pause button on punishing Republicans.
Democrats have already taken the unprecedented step of removing two Republican lawmakers from all of their committee assignments over violent rhetoric they posted on social media.
The move has prompted Republicans to threaten retaliation if they regain the gavel in the midterm elections, which appears likely.
Omar and Tlaib are among the lawmakers some Republicans have threatened to punish for past antisemitic statements and tweets.