Feb 5, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Marjorie Taylor Greene faces uncertainty in push to censure Ilhan Omar

Rep. Ilhan Omar

Rep. Ilhan Omar. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is running up against headwinds in her efforts to censure Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and strip her of her committee assignments.

Why it matters: The flood of unsanctioned censure and impeachment votes, of which Greene has been a primary driver, is frustrating lawmakers in both parties.

Driving the news: Greene's three-page resolution centers on a disputed translation of a remarks Omar delivered to fellow members of Minnesota's Somali-American community last weekend.

  • Right-wing accounts on social media posted a video suggesting Omar declared "together we will protect the interests of Somalia," but the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Minnesota Reformer, citing Somali interpreters, called those translations inaccurate.
  • Leaning on the allegedly flawed translation, Greene's measure accuses Omar of "treasonous statements" and "openly admitting her efforts to advance Somalia's interests."
  • Omar has called attacks from Republican lawmakers and other elected officials "completely false" and "rooted in xenophobia and Islamophobia."

What we're hearing: The measure may face enough GOP opposition to threaten its chances of passing, given House Republicans' three-vote majority.

  • Rep. John Duarte (R-Calif.) told Axios he is a "no" on the censure, saying Greene should "send it through committee" rather than forcing a vote.
  • "I don't tend to vote in favor of those things,"Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) said.
  • Several other House Republicans told Axios they are undecided on the measure or still need to review it.

Between the lines: Many Republicans would simply prefer not take the vote — and are growing ever more frustrated with floor time being used up on things like censures.

  • "Don't we have other things to do," one GOP lawmaker complained.

State of play: The measure was set to be voted on as soon as Tuesday, but Greene told Axios on Monday night that the scheduling is up in the air.

  • "It's definitely going to happen," she said. "But timing is an issue. I've got to find out floor availability [on Tuesday], and that's something I don't know yet. Maybe Wednesday."
  • Greene acknowledged that the vote could also "possibly" be punted to next week, insisting that she's "not rescinding it, not backing off."

Zoom in: What makes the measure particularly potent is that, in addition to censuring Omar, the measure would kick her off the House Budget and Education & Workforce Committees.

  • It would be a continuation of a tit-for-tat that saw Omar removed from the Foreign Affairs Committee and Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) removed from the Intelligence Committee at the start of this Congress.
  • Republicans strongly denounced Democrats for stripping Greene and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) of all their committee assignments last Congress.
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