More than three dozen progressive House Democrats are calling for the chamber to strip Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) of her committee assignments in response to her Islamophobic remarks about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
Boebert “has repeatedly weaponized dangerous, anti-Muslim bigotry at our colleague Representative Ilhan Omar,” the 38 lawmakers wrote in a statement Thursday.
“Our response to behavior that creates a dangerous work environment and furthers a climate of toxicity and intolerance cannot be silence,” the statement continues. “Congress cannot forgo accountability when a Member engages in hate speech that dehumanizes not only a colleague, but an entire people.”
During a House debate last month, Boebert called Omar a “jihad squad member,” insinuating she was a terrorist. It wasn’t the first time she made such inflammatory remarks about Omar, who is one of only three Muslim lawmakers in Congress. At an event in September, Boebert joked about she and a staffer being in an elevator with Omar, whom she referred to as “jihad squad”: “She doesn’t have a backpack, she wasn’t dropping it and running, so we’re good.” In Colorado last month, she told constituents a similar tale, this time saying a Capitol Police officer with “sweat all over his face” had recently rushed toward her just after she stepped into an elevator with Omar, who she assumed could be a terrorist.
Tensions boiled over earlier this week when Omar accepted a phone call from Boebert, expecting an apology. Instead, Omar said, Boebert “refused to publicly acknowledge her hurtful and dangerous comments” and “doubled down on her rhetoric,” so Omar hung up.
Boebert said of the call: “She said she still wanted a public apology because what I had done wasn’t good enough. So I told Ilhan Omar she should make a public apology to the American people for her anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-police rhetoric.”
Omar and two of her colleagues, Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and André Carson (D-Ind.), who are also Muslim, were the first to demand that Republicans hold their own accountable and take action against Boebert, who has a history of spreading hate speech and conspiracy theories and was reportedly involved in planning demonstrations supporting former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 presidential election being “stolen.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has not publicly condemned Boebert for her Islamophobic remarks.
Boebert serves on the House Budget Committee and on the Committee on Natural Resources and its subcommittees on Indigenous Peoples of the United States and Water, Oceans, and Wildlife.