NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Democrats in Washington are looking to take action over what many describe as anti-Semitic comments from one of the newest members of Congress.
They also say it’s not the first time the politician has been scolded for this behavior.
The controversy erupted over the weekend. Congresswoman Nita Lowey got into a Twitter war with Democrat Ilhan Omar over comments by the freshman congresswoman from Minnesota made, which many considered to be an attack on Jews.
House Democratic leaders now hope to bring to the floor a resolution condemning anti-Semitism in the wake of Rep. Omar’s remarks.
Omar tweeted “I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee.” The Somali-American politician was allegedly referring to, and criticizing, America’s continued support of Israel.
Congresswoman Nita Lowey demanded she retract the statement, and Omar was also blasted by fellow Democrats Jerrold Nadler and Elliot Engel.
Republicans joined in the outrage.
“This is an attack on the Jewish people, and if we learned anything over the last century, it’s the evils of anti-Semitism and where it can lead,” Rep. Peter King of Long Island said.
“We saw it with the holocaust, we see it in Europe and other places in the world. It’s rising anti-Semitism. We can’t allow it in the United States Congress.”
Omar has already been forced to apologize after she faced backlash for previous tweets condemned by both sides of the aisle as anti-Semitic. She’s suggested Republican support of Israel is fueled by donations from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a prominent pro-Israel group.
Last month, she tweeted “it’s all about the Benjamins” and then “AIPAC.”
Critics say Democrats should now take away her major committee assignment.
“I am absolutely convinced she should be taken off the Foreign Affairs Committee… the Foreign Affairs Committee is America’s face to the world,” Rep. King explained.
Despite the wave of condemnation, Omar is getting support from one New York congresswoman, fellow first-time Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Cortez tweeted how she reportedly lectures her white or male political allies about matters that may be considered offensive to other races; adding that punishing Omar for her views wouldn’t solve the issue.
In the meantime, Cortez is dodging damaging allegations of her own from a conservative watchdog group claiming she violated campaign finance laws. The group filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission. The congresswoman denied the allegations.
It’s not clear right now when or if the resolution might make it to the House floor. There had also been debate among Democrats over whether Omar should be mentioned by name in the measure.