WASHINGTON – A top GOP House leader accused Democrats of trying to “protect” Rep. Ilhan Omar and “enabling anti-Semitism” by failing to single out her anti-Israel comments on the House floor.
“I think it was really clearly an effort to actually protect Ilhan Omar,” Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “To cover up her bigotry and anti-Semitism by refusing to name her. The Democrats have yet to take any action to remove her from her committee. And they’ve got a real problem.”
Cheney voted against a bipartisan House resolution Thursday that condemned anti-Semitism and many other forms of hatred and bigotry.
The broad resolution failed to single-out Omar specifically for comments she made that suggested that supporters of Israel have an allegiance to a foreign country.
“I mean the extent to which they are now abiding by anti-Semitism, enabling anti-Semitism in their party is something we watched them struggle with, but something that is very dangerous for the country,” Cheney said. “So I’m hopeful that they will be able to stand up and do the right thing on this.”
Since winning back the majority, House Democrats already passed landmark gun control legislation and voting rights reforms, but the legislation has been overshadowed by Democrats’ handling of freshman reps, including Minnesota’s Omar and Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib, who said the newly empowered Democrats were going to take on President Trump and “impeach the motherf—er.”
Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.), a freshman lawmaker from a purple district, acknowledged Democrats must do better at avoiding distractions.
“We have elected a lot of strong-willed and very opinionated people,” Hill told “Fox News Sunday.” “So I think what we have to figure out how to do is to say, ‘OK this isn’t the views of everybody in Congress. These are not the priorities of the entire caucus.’ But how do we maintain focus on our agenda as a whole and demonstrate that this is not indicative of what our agenda is completely.”
The hastily revised anti-hate resolution passed the House Thursday 407-23.
Bernie Sanders defends Ilhan Omar over 'anti-Semitic' remarks
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders came to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s defense,…
All dissenters were Republicans.
Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin, who is Jewish, blasted the resolution as not going far enough and still wants Omar removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“If [Omar] was a Republican, this resolution would’ve been naming names,” Zeldin told John Catsimatidis on his Sunday radio show, “The Cats Roundtable,” onAM 970. “She would’ve been removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. We would be talking about anti-Semitism solely, singularly and forcefully.”
In response to Omar’s comments critical of Israel – the latest in a string of comments denounced by many Jewish leaders as anti-Semitic – House leadership announced last week they’d bring an anti-Semitism resolution to the floor.
But Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s caucus pushed back, and the resolution went through last-minute revisions to also condemn discrimination against Muslims, the LGBT community, African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans and more.
Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) said he voted in favor of the House resolution because “you shouldn’t hate people, period, end of story. We learn that stuff in kindergarten.”
But he marveled how Democrats bungled their response.
“The fact that the Democrats tripped up this week dealing with a resolution on condemning anti-Semitism is absolutely crazy,” Hurd told CNN’s “State of the Union.”