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Tipsheet

Ocasio-Cortez Questions Backlash Against Omar, Asks Where Resolutions Are Against Xenophobia and Misogyny

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) questioned the criticism her fellow freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is facing Tuesday. House Democrats will take up a resolution Wednesday to condemn “the myth of dual loyalty” to the U.S. and Israel that Omar has repeatedly referenced in remarks which many interpret as anti-Semitic.

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Ocasio-Cortez began by calling such a reprimand “hurtful” and argued that “no one seeks this level of reprimand when members make statements about Latinx + other communities (during the shutdown, a GOP member yelled “Go back to Puerto Rico!” on the floor).”

After Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) took offense at Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) yelling “go back to Puerto Rico” on the floor in January, Smith clarified that the comment “was directed at all the Democrats who were vacationing down in Puerto Rico last weekend during the government shutdown, not towards any individual member."

The comment came after Rep. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) faced criticism for a picture on the beach at the luxury resort during the shutdown.

However, Ocasio-Cortez argued Tuesday that incidents like that one begged the question of “where are the resolutions against homophobic statements? For anti-blackness? For xenophobia?”

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She claimed Omar had demonstrated “a willingness to listen+work w/impacted communities,” in a past apology despite Omar’s lack of an apology for her most recent remarks last week.

Ocasio-Cortez also complained of misogyny and sexist statements in Congress claiming, “if we called resolutions on sexist statements, a good chunk of Congress would be gone.” She said that resolutions like the one responding to Omar should be a last resort.

On Monday, the 29-year-old lawmaker also questioned Rep. Juan Vargas’s (D-CA) criticism of Omar’s remarks.

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Omar drew bipartisan criticism last month when she implied in a series of recently-deleted tweets that some members of Congress were influenced by donations to defend Israel. While she partly apologized for those remarks, she maintained that she is concerned about the “role” that groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) play in U.S. politics.

After a partial apology, Rep. Omar made similar remarks at a bookstore discussion in D.C. last week where she said she wanted “to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

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