The U.S. House of Representatives erupted on Thursday as Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and other members of the Squad fought to keep Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Rep. Tlaib, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Rep. Ayana Pressley (D-MA) accused Republicans of racism, sexism, and Islamophobia, while Rep. Omar defended herself by saying the debate was about who gets to be an American. The Republicans argued that they were holding Rep. Omar accountable for her alleged antisemitic language.
The debate began when Republicans moved to remove Rep. Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Rep. Tlaib took to the floor and let her emotions run high, shouting that the Republicans were showing who they really are and that Rep. Omar deserved to stay on the committee. As her time ran out and her mic was cut off, Rep. Tlaib even began to cry.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, who had already expressed her support for Rep. Omar, accused the Republicans of targeting Rep. Omar and rewarding a Republican who had threatened her life with a prestigious committee assignment. Rep. Omar, in her defense, said that the debate was about who gets to be an American, and that immigrants and people of certain skin tones and religions are seen as suspect. Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY) argued that ousting Rep. Omar was not about vengeance or retribution, but accountability, as no one who peddles in antisemitic language should have the right to serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The debate between the Republicans and the Squad was intense and emotional, and it highlighted the deep divide between the two sides. Rep. Tlaib and the Squad argued that the Republicans were targeting Rep. Omar based on her race, religion, and immigration status, while the Republicans argued that they were holding Rep. Omar accountable for her alleged antisemitic language. The debate was a reminder that even in America, the land of the free, there are still deep divisions and debates about who gets to be an American.