Dems, GOP edging away from fight over Reps. Greene, Omar

Jun 16, 2021, 10:06 AM | Updated: 1:42 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats and Republicans backed away Wednesday from a tit-for-tat battle over punishing firebrand lawmakers from the other party, setting aside for now a fight that risked inflicting political damage on each side.

The mutual reluctance to battle anew over statements by Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., reflects concerns that a partisan attack would only ease the headaches that each lawmaker has inflicted on her own party. Each side also worries that such a fight would give the targeted lawmaker fresh attention and bolster their already formidable fundraising abilities.

A Republican attempt to strip Omar of her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee would distract from Democratic divisions over her recent remarks, a top GOP aide said Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity to describe closed-door conversations.

Omar last week tweeted about “unthinkable atrocities” committed by the United States, Israel, Hamas and the Taliban. House Democratic leaders and a dozen Jewish Democratic lawmakers complained that those remarks drew a false and damaging equivalence between the two countries and the hard-line groups. Omar later said she was not drawing “a moral comparison.”

Omar’s comments had prompted progressive lawmakers to rally around her and criticize their Democratic colleagues for mistreating women of color in the party, in an embarrassing display of divisiveness. “Enough with the anti-Blackness and Islamophobia,” tweeted Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo. Omar is one of two Muslim women in Congress.

Even so, several Democrats said any GOP effort to strip Omar of her committee assignments would be defeated, despite Democrats’ narrow majority.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Tuesday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., should remove Omar from the committee. Pelosi has shown no interest in doing that.

Speaking on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” McCarthy also said that if Republicans win House control in the 2022 elections, “Omar would not be serving on Foreign Affairs, or anybody that has an anti-Semitic, anti-American view.”

At a closed-door House GOP meeting later Tuesday, no rank-and-file lawmakers went to the microphones to talk about Omar, the Republican aide said.

Meanwhile, Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., said late Wednesday that he was abandoning his plan for a House vote censuring Greene.

Greene in May compared required mask wearing in the House chamber, imposed by Pelosi to protect against COVID-19, to Nazis requiring Jews to wear a “gold star” and herding them into gas chambers during the Holocaust. The stars were actually yellow.

Greene apologized for her remarks Monday, telling reporters she had just visited the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and saying, “There’s no comparison and there never ever will be.”

In a statement, Schneider said he was accepting her apology and would hold off “at this time.”

He added: “I hope that Congress can take the necessary steps to serve as a model to a nation desperately in need of leaders willing to correct themselves when they are wrong.”

Greene, a first-term hard-right conservative, has long promoted conspiracy theories. She also has indicated support on social media for calls for violence, including — before her election — suggesting support for shooting Pelosi in the head.

The House took the rare step of stripping Greene of her committee assignments in February for her statements. All but 11 Republicans opposed that move.

In 2019 shortly after Omar arrived in Congress, the House approved a resolution condemning anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry — without mentioning her — after she made remarks that critics said accused Israel supporters of having dual allegiances. Those included a tweet saying, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” a reference to $100 bills that some said suggested Israel’s backers were motivated by political contributions.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Law enforcement officers head into the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, campus after reports of an ...

Associated Press

Police say 3 dead, fourth wounded and shooter also dead in University of Nevada, Las Vegas attack

Police said a suspect was found dead Wednesday as officers responded to an active shooter and reports of multiple victims at UNLV.

1 hour ago

President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, leaves after a court appearance, July 26, 2023, in Wilming...

Associated Press

Republicans threaten contempt proceedings if Hunter Biden refuses to appear for deposition

House Republicans are threatening to hold Hunter Biden in contempt if he does not show up this month for a closed-door deposition.

3 hours ago

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., listens to a question during a news conference, March 30, 2022, in W...

Associated Press

Tuberville is ending blockade of most military nominees, clearing way for hundreds to be approved

Sen. Tommy Tuberville announced Tuesday that he's ending his blockade of hundreds of military promotions, following heavy criticism.

1 day ago

An employee works inside the Hanwha Qcells Solar plant on Oct. 16, 2023, in Dalton, Ga. On Tuesday,...

Associated Press

US job openings fall to lowest level since March 2021 as labor market cools

U.S. employers posted 8.7 million job openings in October, the fewest since March 2021, in a sign that hiring is cooling.

1 day ago

Megyn Kelly poses at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast, Dec. 7,...

Associated Press

The fourth GOP debate will be a key moment for the young NewsNation cable network

By airing the fourth Republican presidential debate, NewsNation network will almost certainly reach the largest audience in its history.

1 day ago

Lead water pipes pulled from underneath the street are seen in Newark, N.J., Oct. 21, 2021. (AP Pho...

Associated Press

Biden to require cities to replace harmful lead pipes within 10 years

The Biden administration has previously said it wants all of the nation's roughly 9 million lead pipes to be removed, and rapidly.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Dierdre Woodruff

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Follow @KTAR923...

The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]



Importance of AC maintenance after Arizona’s excruciating heat wave

An air conditioning unit in Phoenix is vital to living a comfortable life inside, away from triple-digit heat.

Dems, GOP edging away from fight over Reps. Greene, Omar