Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) hit back at Alabama’s Republican Party on Tuesday after it approved a resolution calling for her expulsion from the House of Representatives that cited the freshman lawmaker’s controversial comments on Israel and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In a fiery tweet Tuesday evening, Omar wrote that she was “elected with 78% of the vote by the people of Minnesota’s 5th District, not the Alabama Republican Party.”
“Sorry, @ALGOPHQ, but this is a representative democracy,” she tweeted, tagging the state GOP’s Twitter account, before skewering the group’s support of 2017 Senate candidate Roy Moore, whom she labeled “an accused child molester.” Moore lost his race to Democrat Doug Jones after more than half a dozen women came forward with decades-old sexual misconduct allegations against him, detailing inappropriate interactions that allegedly occurred when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. Moore has denied the allegations and recently announced plans to run for Senate again.
The resolution, which urges the state’s elected congressional delegation to launch the expulsion process for Omar, was passed over the weekend during a summer meeting in Auburn, Ala., AL.com reported. State Rep. Tommy Hanes (R), who proposed the resolution, told The Washington Post in a statement Wednesday that “There is precedence for Article 1, Section 5 of the constitution being invoked to expel members of Congress based on disloyalty to the United States."
“Rep. Omar is ungrateful to the United States and the opportunities that have been afforded to her,” Hanes said, later adding that the congresswoman’s race and religion were irrelevant to the party’s recent efforts. “Her rhetoric is despicable and unpatriotic.”
To justify expelling Omar from Congress, Alabama Republicans noted the accusations of anti-Semitism she’s faced from both sides of the aisle for her views on Israel and the fierce criticism over a video of her saying “some people did something” when referring to the 9/11 attacks. In addition to claiming Omar “dismissed the 9/11 terrorist attacks waged by radical Islam on the World Trade Center,” the resolution argued she “has a disturbing record of using anti-Semitic language.” It pointed, in part, to her widely attacked suggestion that Israel’s U.S. allies are motivated by money.
Expulsion is the most severe punishment for U.S. representatives and is intended for members who engage in “disorderly Behaviour,” according to the House. In the past 200 years, there have only been five expulsion cases, three of which occurred during the Civil War and involved representatives accused of “fighting for the Confederacy.” The most recent removal happened in 2002 when Ohio Democrat James A. Traficant Jr. was convicted on corruption charges.
The Alabama GOP’s call for action, however, is unlikely to result in Omar losing her seat. According to the Constitution, it would require approval from at least two-thirds of the House, which is controlled by Democrats.
Still, the resolution’s approval marks the latest conservative broadside against Omar, who has been repeatedly criticized by the GOP and President Trump. Earlier this month, Omar and fellow Muslim Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan were denied entry to Israel after Trump tweeted in support of banning the two lawmakers, claiming they “hate Israel & all Jewish people.” Omar and Tlaib are both members of “the Squad,” a group of vocal freshman minority representatives that also includes Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) who have often drawn the ire of Trump and his supporters.
In July, Trump targeted the four women in racist comments that were transformed into a rally chant directed at Omar just days later. For 13 seconds during Trump’s appearance in Greenville, N.C., the crowd screamed “Send her back!” in reference to the Somali-born Omar, who became a U.S. citizen at age 17.
Despite elevated concerns for her safety in light of the president’s frequent attacks, Omar has continued to voice harsh criticisms of Trump. Upon her arrival in Minnesota one day after the North Carolina rally, Omar was defiant as she addressed supporters who had flocked to greet her, NPR reported.
“We are going to continue to be a nightmare to this president because his policies are a nightmare to us,” Omar said. “We are not deterred, we are not frightened, we are ready.”