House Democrats are separating themselves from Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, due to her criticism of Israel, putting pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to remove her from some of the special positions that the freshman congresswoman holds, according to The Hill.
Lawmakers argued that Omar, who is one of the first Muslim women in Congress, has caused more divisions in Congress by playing into the Republicans concerns about the party.
“I think it’s inappropriate to just focus on one person. I absolutely do,” said Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, according to The Hill.
According to Bass, Omar’s attention-grabbing actions have also created a security risk for herself and possibly those around her.
“I also think, frankly, that it puts her at risk to focus on her. You know, she’s already received death threats,” Bass said.
Progressive Caucus leader Rep Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) was also frustrated with Omar’s recent remarks:
“We are now in the majority and the Republicans have an intent to try to divide us whenever they can. So what processes can we as a caucus put in place so that we don’t help them to do that?” Jayapal said.
Some Democrats believe that Omar should be called to account for her comments:
“I disagree with what was said. And I think there should be an apology,” said Rep. Colin Allred (D-Texas), a freshman who represents a swing district.
The Hill reported that Pelosi has acknowledged the problem with Omar during a closed-door meeting, saying that “we have some issues,” a Democratic aide said.
However, she advised lawmakers: “Don’t question the motivations of our colleagues” and that they should downplay the division among the party, lest the media decides to run with it.
“If you say the bacon is not crispy enough, they’ll have an article about this unrest and unease in the Democratic Party,” Pelosi said.
Omar found herself facing a petition that would have her removed from the Foreign Affairs Committee, which the freshman congresswoman has been a member following comments made by the congresswoman about what she called “dual-loyalty.”
“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” Omar said according to Fox News.
“I want to ask why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the NRA, of fossil fuel industries, or big pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobbying movement that is influencing policy.”