'This Should Be Very Simple': GOP Rep Hits Pelosi for Watered-Down Resolution on Ilhan Omar
Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) pushed back Thursday on the decision by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi not to call out Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) by name in a planned resolution broadly condemning hatred and anti-Semitism.
In recent weeks, Omar (D-Minn.) has drawn strong criticism for her remarks about Israel and U.S. support of the Jewish state.
Speaking Thursday morning to reporters, Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she doesn't believe Omar "understood the full weight of her words" as a member of Congress.
"I feel confident that her words were not based on any anti-Semitic attitude, but that she didn't have a full appreciation of how they landed on other people, where these words have a history and a cultural impact that may have been unknown to her," said Pelosi.
The speaker said a resolution would be brought forward to condemn anti-Semitism without mentioning Omar by name. She said Omar may have to further "explain what she meant" with her recent comments.
On Monday, Omar faced a petition from a group of leading Jewish organizations to have her removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The most recent outcry came after Omar suggested last week that supporters of Israel have an "allegiance to a foreign country" over the United States.
"I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country," Omar told activists in a Washington, D.C. cafe. "I want to ask why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the NRA, of fossil fuel industries, or big pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobbying movement that is influencing policy."
Stewart said on "America's Newsroom" that Republicans have been quick to condemn their own members for offensive statements.
"It's not asking too much for the leadership of the Democratic Party to do the same thing," said Stewart, adding he "respectfully disagrees" with Pelosi's argument that the issue is not about Omar specifically.
"Of course it's about her and the comments she made. That's what started this piece of legislation, but frankly the Democratic Party just isn't willing to take a stand on this."
He said Jewish Democrats are likely wondering what is happening in the party after multiple instances of Omar making comments perceived by many to be anti-Semitic.
Watch the remarks by Pelosi and Stewart above.