May 7, 2024 - Politics & Policy

House Republican introduces measure to censure Ilhan Omar

Rep. Ilhan Omar, wearing a beige jacket and green hijab.

Rep. Ilhan Omar. Photo: Celal Güne/Anadolu via Getty Images.

Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) on Tuesday introduced a resolution to censure Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) for referring to some Jewish students as "pro-genocide."

Why it matters: Pro-Palestinian lawmakers have been repeatedly penalized in the GOP-controlled House for their comments on Israel.

Driving the news: The four-page resolution, a copy of which was provided to Axios, focuses on a comment Omar made during a visit to a pro-Palestinian encampment at Columbia University last month.

  • Asked recently by Fox 5 New York about alleged antisemitism incidents at Columbia, Omar said: "We should not have to tolerate antisemitism or bigotry for all Jewish students, whether they are pro-genocide or anti-genocide."
  • Bacon's resolution calls the comments "slanderous" and says they could "inflame violence against the Jewish community."
  • The measure also accuses Omar of a "long and demonstrated history of hateful rhetoric," citing her past comments on Israel going back to 2012.

The other side: Omar spokesperson Jacklyn Rogers previously told Axios that she "clearly condemned antisemitism and bigotry for all Jewish students."

  • "Attempts to misconstrue her words by drafting this baseless resolution are meant to distract from the ongoing violence and genocide occurring in Gaza and the large antiwar protests happening across our country and around the world."

Between the lines: Bacon told Axios he doesn't plan to notice the resolution as privileged — which would force a vote on it — meaning it's up to Republican leadership to decide whether it gets a vote.

  • One House Republican told Axios they are "not confident" the bill will get a vote.
  • Bacon is introducing the resolution as he faces a spirited primary challenge from a right-wing rival.
Go deeper