House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said Wednesday that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) could face “further action” from Democrat leaders if she continues expressing prejudiced views.
Asked by reporters about antisemitic statements made by Omar and fellow freshman congresswoman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Hoyer replied, “Congresswoman Omar apologized,” adding that “the real test is the actions on the floor.”
“We need to treat one another with respect and without language that would refer to any kind of interpretation of bigotry, prejudice, or hate,” he continued. “We’ll continue to pursue and advocate for that, and very frankly, if that doesn’t pan out, there may be further action we would take.”
The Maryland Democrat did not elaborate on how leadership could punish lawmakers for racism.
Omar apologized Monday for tweets suggesting the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) pays Republican members of Congress to support Israel. “Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes. My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole,” the Minnesota Democrat claimed in a statement. “We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.”
Omar then went on to criticize AIPAC once more, calling their so-called “role” in American politics “problematic.”
She failed to note in her apology that the pro-Israel org does not make financial contributions to candidates.
AIPAC responded to the lawmaker’s remarks on Sunday evening, saying: “We are proud that we are engaged in the democratic process to strengthen the US-Israel relationship. Our bipartisan efforts are reflective of American values and interests. We will not be deterred in any way by ill-informed and illegitimate attacks on this important work.”
President Donald Trump on Tuesday called for Omar to resign from either the House Foreign Affairs Committee or Congress.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) named Omar to the House Foreign Affairs Committee last month, despite her previous support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and previous tweets in which she claimed the Jewish state was “hypnotizing the world” and responsible for “evil doings.”
“Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress. And Congressman Omar, it’s terrible what she said and I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee,” said the president said. “What she said is so deep-seated in her heart that her lame apology, that’s what it was, it was lame and she didn’t mean a word of it, was just not appropriate.”
“I think she should resign from Congress frankly, but at a minimum, she shouldn’t be on committees, certainly that committee,” he added.