Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), along with Representatives Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Cori Bush (MO-01), Judy Chu (CA-27), Jesús "Chuy" García (IL-04), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), led their House colleagues in announcing a resolution to remove Representative Lauren Boebert (CO-03) from her committee assignments. Rep. Pressley and colleagues will hold a press conference on Capitol Hill today at 2:00pm ET to discuss the resolution and the need to hold Boebert accountable.
The lawmakers' resolution follows Boebert's repeated use of Islamophobic, racist and hateful comments and incitement of anti-Muslim animus, and Leader Kevin McCarthy's refusal to hold her accountable for her dangerous conduct. The resolution also comes amid growing calls from Members of Congress for meaningful accountability.
"For a Member of Congress to repeatedly use hateful, anti-Muslim rhetoric and Islamophobic tropes towards a Muslim colleague is dangerous. It has no place in our society and it diminishes the honor of the institution we serve in," said Rep. Pressley. "Without meaningful accountability for that Member's actions, we risk normalizing this behavior and endangering the lives of our Muslim colleagues, Muslim staffers and every Muslim who calls America home. The House must unequivocally condemn this incendiary rhetoric and immediately pass this resolution. How we respond in moments like these will have lasting impacts, and history will remember us for it."
"Islamophobia and any form of hate is a direct attack on people in this country and our democracy," said Rep. Bowman. "Muslims belong in everywhere Congress and any place of power in the country. They need to know that Congress will not accept Islamophobia. We are putting forth this resolution because we love our democracy and our Muslim brothers and sisters. Rep. Boebert has gone beyond expressing usual dissent for a colleague and their views and is endangering Rep. Omar in addition to inciting violence. Trump ran on Islamophobia, and that disease is still in government. We cannot allow any forms of Islamophobia, anti-Blackness, anti-immigrant, and xenophobic sentiments stand in the halls of Congress or part of our government. Rep. Boebert must be held accountable."
"St. Louis and I did not come to Congress to leave Islamophobic, racist, and inciteful attacks unchecked," said Congresswoman Cori Bush. "Congressional leadership has a responsibility to show that this kind of behavior is unacceptable--starting in the halls of power. We must be assured that no member is above accountability, and Republican leadership has failed to deliver any such accountability for Boebert. It is time for Democratic leadership to act and pass our resolution to not only protect Rep. Omar, but the livelihoods and lives of Muslim communities around our country."
"Once again, Kevin McCarthy refuses to condemn the hatred in his own caucus," said Rep. Chu. "Rep. Boebert's comments, which she repeated, were not subtle nor were they a slip of the tongue. It was the latest in a long string of openly Islamophobic and bigoted comments which have repeatedly led to violence. We saw this in the wake of September 11th, when the exact lie that Rep. Boebert is repeating today, led to a spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes. And we have seen it in the numerous death threats directed at Rep. Omar and others since being elected and becoming targets of Republican hate speech. For Rep. Boebert to repeatedly make this claim now, just months after white nationalists stormed the Capitol, shows an incredible disregard for the safety of her peers, if not outright hostility. This would be unacceptable in any workplace, and is certainly unacceptable in the halls of Congress. If Rep. Boebert chooses to spend her time threatening the safety of a colleague because of her religion, it will not be from the privileged perch of Congressional committee."
"I join Rep. Pressley and my colleagues in calling for Representative Boebert to be removed from her committee assignments," said Rep. Jayapal. "There must be consequences for vicious workplace harassment and abuse that creates an environment so unsafe for colleagues and staff that it invites death threats against them. There must be consequences for elected representatives who traffic in anti-Muslim and racist tropes that make all Muslims across the country less safe. There must be consequences when Members of Congress demonize an entire religion and promote hate from their positions of public trust."
"This type of bigotry is disgusting, but unfortunately not surprising," said Rep. Lee. "Anti-Muslim rhetoric is not, and will never be, a laughing matter. Rep. Boebert must be held accountable to show that hate speech will not be tolerated in Congress."
"I stand with my friend and colleague Rep. Ilhan Omar. No one, Member of Congress or otherwise, should face bigotry in their workplace. Rep. Boebert still owes her an apology for her hateful rhetoric and actions, and short of that the House should take further action. Islamophobia has no place in our country or the Halls of Congress," said Rep. Jesús "Chuy" García.
"Democrats are, and should be, focused on building real and symbolic bridges, both within and to all our communities. We cannot lose sight of that," said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. "But a failure to exact consequences for this dangerous bigotry will lead to more hate, and inevitably, more threats and violent rhetoric or actions aimed at our own Members and the communities of which they are a part. We must hold Members accountable whose rhetoric puts their colleagues and staff in harm's way. These Islamophobic comments by one of our fellow Members must be called out. Hate is hate, and these types of incendiary remarks can and do inspire violence and direct threats, both to the individuals they are targeted at, and to the larger communities they represent. A pipe bomb that sat in my district office for over 24 hours, and was handled by my staff, testifies to that frightening reality. Sadly, there are countless more examples I could cite. As a Jewish Member, my office receives threats regularly, as do members of my larger community."