Kevin McCarthy won’t let go of the GOP’s smear campaign against Ilhan Omar, but Democrats have moved on

kevin mccarthy ilhan omar
Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Ilhan Omar.

  • Kevin McCarthy is perpetuating the GOP’s smear campaign against Ilhan Omar.
  • McCarthy is urging Pelosi to remove Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
  • Pelosi has already signaled Democrats want to move on from recent misleading criticism of Omar.
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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is calling for Rep. Ilhan Omar’s removal from the House Foreign Affairs Committee as Republicans continue to misconstrue recent comments she made on war crimes investigations, while Democrats largely appear to have moved on.

McCarthy urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to strip Omar from the committee based on what he described as “anti-Semitic” and “anti-American” language from the Minnesota lawmaker.

“I will promise you this. If we are fortunate enough to have the majority, Omar would not be serving on Foreign Affairs or anybody that has an anti-Semitic, anti-American view. That is not productive, and that is not right,” McCarthy said during a “Fox & Friends” appearance on Tuesday.

The comments mark the GOP’s latest efforts to attack Omar, who last week criticized both Democrats and Republicans for taking her words about the US’s opposition to investigate potential war crimes out of context.

During a June 7 congressional hearing, Omar questioned Secretary of State Antony Blinken on accountability and justice for victims of crimes against humanity. She referenced two open International Criminal Court cases into potential war crimes – one involving the US and the Taliban in Afghanistan and another involving Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Neither the US nor Israel recognize the authority of the ICC, which can try individuals for war crimes.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle then accused Omar of “equating” the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban, pressuring Omar to clarify her statements. Pushing back against the criticism, she underscored that she was explicitly referencing open ICC investigations.

“The islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive,” Omar tweeted in response to a statement from 12 fellow House Democrats that condemned her recent remarks. “The constant harassment & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable.”

“Citing an open case against Israel, US, Hamas & Taliban in the ICC isn’t comparison or from ‘deeply seated prejudice,'” Omar continued. “You might try to undermine these investigations or deny justice to their victims but history has thought us that the truth can’t be hidden or silenced forever.”

The Democratic leadership in a statement last week erroneously suggested Omar drew “false equivalencies” between democracies like the US and Israel and terrorist groups, while welcoming the “clarification” issued by the Minnesota Democrat.

In a separate statement, Omar said she was “in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems.”

“To be clear: the conversation was about accountability for specific incidents regarding those ICC cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the US and Israel,” Omar said.

Several Democrats came to Omar’s defense, citing a history of Congress members making Islamophobic and racist remarks toward her, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress.

“I am tired of colleagues (both D+R) demonizing @IlhanMN. Their obsession with policing her is sick. She has the courage to call out human rights abuses no matter who is responsible,” Rep. Rashida Tlaib tweeted. “That’s better than colleagues who look away if it serves their politics.”

Pelosi: ‘End of subject’

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Rep. Ilhan Omar talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi in a CNN interview on Sunday made it clear that the Democratic leadership wanted to put the matter to bed and move on.

“She clarified, we thanked her, end of subject,” Pelosi said.

The top Democrat said Omar was a “valued member” of the caucus, and rejected the notion that the Democratic leadership had rebuked the Minnesota lawmaker over her statements.

“We did not rebuke her. We acknowledged that she made a clarification,” Pelosi said. “She asked her questions of the Secretary of State. Nobody criticized those, about how people will be held accountable if we’re not going to the International Court of Justice. That was a very legitimate question. That was not of concern.”

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York also appeared on CNN on Sunday and said Omar’s comments were “absolutely mischaracterized” by Republicans and warned about the consequences of Democrats joining in and legitimizing their bad faith attacks.

“When we feed into that, it adds legitimacy to a lot of this kind of right-wing vitriol. It absolutely increases that target,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “And as someone who has experienced that, it’s very difficult to communicate the scale and how dangerous that is.”

“As Speaker Pelosi said, we are putting this behind us and I believe that we will ultimately come together as a caucus,” she went on to say.

Republicans have engaged in a prolonged smear campaign against Omar

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Reps. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.

The recent attacks on Omar are part of a broader trend or smear campaign primarily perpetuated by Republicans and their allies in the right-wing media.

Republicans have consistently accused Omar of anti-Semitism and employed Islamophobic rhetoric against her, suggesting that she’s a terrorist sympathizer. Democrats and prominent groups in Washington have also joined the pile-on at times, taking her words out of context in the process.

In 2019, Omar sent tweets that led to widespread allegations of anti-Semitism, and she promptly apologized. The tweets suggested politicians in Congress had been bought off by influential groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which critics said echoed anti-Semitic tropes about Jews and money.

Since that controversy, Omar has been vocal in condemning anti-Semitism and attacks on Jewish people while also calling for a more balanced approach to addressing potential human rights abuses by the US and its allies, including Israel.

Meanwhile, Republicans have baselessly accused Omar of anti-Semitism over her criticism of the Israeli government. The Minnesota lawmaker’s rhetoric on Israel, including referring to it as an apartheid state, has been in line with conclusions and statements of leading human rights groups.

Omar is one of the first two Muslim women in Congress in US history, and her defenders in Congress say it’s not a coincidence she’s been the target of a coordinated smear campaign by Republicans.

In a statement offering support to Omar last week, the Congressional Progressive Caucus said, “We cannot ignore that a right-wing media echo chamber that has deliberately and routinely attacked a Black, Muslim woman in Congress, distorting her views and intentions, and resulting in threats against Rep. Omar and her staff.”

“We urge our colleagues not to abet or amplify such divisive and bad-faith attacks,” the statement added.

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Marjorie Taylor Greene apologizes for comparing mask mandates to the Holocaust, insisting she’s ‘very much a normal person’

marjorie taylor greene
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., holds a news conference to apologize for her recent remarks equating mask mandates with the Holocaust in Washington on Monday, June 14, 2021.

  • Greene apologized for her previous comparisons of COVID-19 safety measures to the Holocaust.
  • She opened a news conference on Monday evening by saying: “I’m very much a normal person.”
  • Greene came under fire for comparing the House mask mandate to the horrors suffered by Jews in Nazi Germany.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Monday evening publicly apologized for her previous comparisons of COVID-19 mask requirements and vaccination efforts to the horrors suffered by Jews in Nazi Germany.

The Georgia Republican, known for her controversial statements, took a markedly different tone during a solo news conference, starting off by saying: “I always want to remind everyone – I’m very much a normal person.”

“One of the best lessons that my father always taught me was, when you make a mistake, you should own it. And I have made a mistake and it’s really bothered me for a couple of weeks now, and so I definitely want to own it,” she said.

Greene told reporters that she visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, earlier in the day and wanted to make it clear that “there is no comparison to the Holocaust.”

“There are words that I have said, remarks that I’ve made, that I know are offensive. And for that I want to apologize,” she said.

Greene’s apology comes as House Democrats move to censure her after she likened mask mandates and vaccine rules to the persecution of Jews during the Holocaust.

Greene attacked Speaker Nancy Pelosi for keeping the House mask mandate in place although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifted mask-wearing guidelines indoors for fully vaccinated individuals. Pelosi said that she was following guidance from the Capitol attending physician as vaccination rates in Congress, especially among Republicans, was unknown.

During an interview on a conservative podcast on May 20, Greene said: “You know, we can look back in a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star and they were definitely treated like second-class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany. And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.”

She also tweeted at the time that “vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi’s forced Jewish people to wear a gold star.”

The “gold star” reference, which historians more commonly refer to as a yellow star, was an identifier that Nazi Germany forced Jews to wear.

Several House Democrats swiftly condemned Greene’s language, followed by House Republican leadership. GOP leader Kevin McCarthy called her statements “wrong” and “appalling.”

Greene did not express any regret over her comments at the time, and instead doubled down on them in a series of tweets in which she described Democrats as “reminiscent of the great tyrants of history.”

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Mitch McConnell gives ‘maybe 50-50’ odds of bipartisan infrastructure deal as Democrats say they won’t drop climate initiatives

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

  • McConnell took a dour view on the likelihood of a bipartisan Senate group succeeding with an infrastructure bill.
  • He told a conservative radio host that its odds were “maybe 50-50.”
  • Pelosi signaled she’s unwilling to strike a deal with Republicans if it meant substantially cutting the package.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell provided a downbeat view on the latest roughly $1 trillion infrastructure framework negotiated by a faction of centrist senators from both parties.

The plan would provide just over $1 trillion in new infrastructure spending focused on roads, bridges, ports, and highways.

“Maybe 50-50,” the Kentucky Republican said in a Monday interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. “Look, both sides would like to get an infrastructure bill.”

McConnell reiterated the by now familiar “red lines” for Senate Republicans: no modifications to the 2017 Republican tax law that would result in tax increases, and that any package should be paid for.

He suggested repurposing stimulus aid to states provided under President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief law to cover the cost. That’s already been shot down by the White House in previous negotiations with Senate Republicans.

“States and localities are literally awash in extra money. A lot of that is still in the pipeline,” McConnell said. “Why don’t we repurpose that, earmark it for infrastructure, which both localities would prefer to spend it on anyway?”

The bipartisan group encompasses 10 lawmakers from both parties and includes Republican Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Rob Portman of Ohio, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Susan Collins of Maine.

On the Democratic side, it includes Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Mark Warner of Virginia, and Jon Tester of Montana.

The framework is unlikely to contain the aggressive climate measures that many Democrats favor, which is a nonstarter among a growing group of Democratic senators. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also appears to be against dropping climate initiatives if it means passing a watered-down bill with the GOP.

“I have no intention of abandoning the rest of my vision,” Pelosi told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, adding the proposed measures “could have been talked about 50 years ago.”

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Pelosi says that she won’t ‘give up on Joe Manchin’ over his opposition to sweeping voting-rights legislation

Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California.

  • Speaker Pelosi said that she would not “give up” on fellow Democrat Joe Manchin over voting rights.
  • Pelosi pointed to Manchin’s tenure as W.V. governor and secretary of state in gauging his thinking.
  • She said that the congressional leaders may be able to address concerns that he has with the bill.
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California on Sunday said that she would not “give up” on fellow Democrat Joe Manchin, the moderate West Virginia senator who last week came out against the party’s sweeping voting-rights bill.

In an op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail last Sunday, Manchin argued against the For the People Act, also identified as S.1, contending that a major election reform bill should not be passed on a party-line vote.

The legislation would end partisan gerrymandering, expand early and absentee voting, establish national standards for voter registration, and blunt voter purges, among other things.

Manchin also reaffirmed his support for the filibuster, a position that has become anathema to many Democrats after years of legislative gridlock in Congress.

On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Pelosi remained hopeful when it came to Manchin, despite his public statements.

“I don’t give up on Joe Manchin,” she told host Dana Bash. “When he was governor and Secretary of State in West Virginia, he initiated many of the initial ideas that are in the H.R. 1, S.1, the For the People Act.”

Read more: Here are the 17 coolest jobs available in the federal government right now. We asked experts how to snag them.

Pelosi expressed optimism in the Senate eventually passing the legislation, despite a chamber that is split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans and with the filibuster still in place to potentially derail the legislation.

“I read the op-ed and you read a part of it – I think he left the door open,” she said. “I think it’s ajar. I’m not giving up.”

She added: “I do know that he has certain concerns about the legislation that we may be able to come to terms on.”

Pelosi said that she’s had a conversation with Manchin about the legislation.

In March, the House passed the For the People Act in a near party-line 220-210 vote. Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi was the sole Democrat who voted against the bill, and no Republicans crossed over to support the legislation.

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The Auschwitz Museum slammed Marjorie Taylor Greene after she likened vaccination logos to Jewish people wearing gold stars during the Holocaust

marjorie taylor greene petition mask holocaust
  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene compared a grocery store’s “vaccination logo” system to yellow stars forcibly worn by Jews during the Holocaust.
  • The Auschwitz Memorial condemned Greene’s comparison, saying her remarks were a “sad symptom of moral and intellectual decline.”
  • Greene previously compared the ongoing mask mandate in the House to the treatment of people during the Holocaust.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Auschwitz Museum on Tuesday condemned Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene after she likened a grocery store’s “vaccination logos” to how “Nazi’s forced Jewish people to wear a gold star.”

Earlier Tuesday, Greene responded to a local Tennessee grocery store that said employees were not required to wear a mask if they wore a “vaccination logo displayed on their name badge,” saying the “vaccination logo” was like a yellow star forcibly worn by Jews during the Holocaust.

“Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi’s forced Jewish people to wear a gold star,” Greene wrote in a tweet. “Vaccine passports & mask mandates create discrimination against unvaxxed people who trust their immune systems to a virus that is 99% survivable.”

The gold star that Greene referred to in her tweet, more commonly referred to by historians as a yellow star, were badges that Nazi Germans forced Jews in Europe to wear as a form of identification.

Read more: Assassination threats, AOC potshots, and wolf teats: 2 wild weeks inside Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Georgia district as it flips a giant middle finger at DC

Responses to the Georgia congresswoman included a message from the Auschwitz Memorial Museum, located at the site of the concentration camp in Poland where more than 1 million people – a majority of which were Jewish – were killed during the Holocaust.

“The instrumentalization of the tragedy of Jews who suffered, were humiliated, marked with a yellow star, isolated in ghettos & murdered during the Holocaust, in a debate on different systems that aim at protecting public health is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decline,” the museum tweeted in response.

Greene’s comparison between the grocery store’s “vaccination” logos and yellow stars was not the first time the Georgia lawmaker drew a comparison between public health precautions and systemic discrimination during the Holocaust.

Earlier this month, Greene lashed out at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after she announced an ongoing mask mandate while in the chamber. Greene called Pelosi “mentally ill” and compared the mask mandate, which she described as “abuse,” to treatment during the Holocaust.

“You know, we can look back in a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star and they were definitely treated like second-class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany,” Greene said. “And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.”

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Republican lawmakers face fines for defying mask rules on the House floor and haven’t revealed whether they’re vaccinated

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U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) arrives for a House Republican caucus candidate forum to replace outgoing conference chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) at the Capitol on May 13, 2021.

  • Several Republican House members are openly defying mask-wearing rules on the House floor.
  • Most of these members won’t say whether they’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Capitol physician said House members must continue wearing masks until all members and floor staffers are fully vaccinated.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia refused to wear a face mask on the House floor on Wednesday, continuing her protest against mask-wearing requirements.

Greene isn’t alone. Several other Republican lawmakers also openly defied House rules on Tuesday evening, appearing maskless while casting votes on the floor, according to C-SPAN footage. The Capitol physician, Brian Monahan, decided last week that House members must continue wearing masks on the House floor until all members and floor staffers are fully vaccinated.

Because at least 100 GOP House members haven’t said whether they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19, it’s unclear whether they are violating the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new guidance that fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks indoors. Nine of the 10 GOP lawmakers cited for violating the rules haven’t said whether they’ve been vaccinated, according to a recent CNN survey. Greene refuses to reveal whether she’s gotten the shot.

In accordance with House rules, Greene will receive a warning for her first violation, along with Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Chip Roy of Texas, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Bob Good of Virginia, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Mary Miller of Illinois, multiple news outlets reported.

GOP Reps. Brian Mast of Florida, Beth Van Duyne of Texas, and Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa, who also flouted the rules and had already received their first warnings, will face a $500 fine, per the reports. Additional offenses would result in a $2,500 fine.

Under current rules, all House lawmakers must wear a face-covering on the floor except for when speaking, debating, or presiding over House proceedings. Fines for refusing to wear a mask were established by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the wake of the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, when several members sheltered-in-place together and many were maskless. At least a handful of lawmakers later tested positive for COVID-19.

Although the fine will be deducted from the member’s congressional salary, some lawmakers are calling on their supporters to make donations. Mast asked voters in an email to contribute to his “fight against Pelosi and the Washington Lockdown Cheerleading Squad” which is “going to get expensive FAST,” Punchbowl News reported on Wednesday. The Iowa Republican Party, on behalf of Miller-Meeks, also tweeted a donation link “to help us fight back and retire Pelosi in 2022.”

The GOP mask protest comes after the CDC last Thursday announced fully vaccinated people no longer needed to wear masks indoors or outdoors at gatherings of any size, except in healthcare settings, on public transportation, at homeless shelters, and at airports. Private companies may still enforce mask mandates as they see fit.

Pelosi said last Thursday the House rule would stay in place despite the CDC’s guidance, noting not all lawmakers had been fully vaccinated yet.

But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is expected to force a vote on a resolution to revise the mask guidelines on Wednesday night. But the resolution is expected to be tabled by Democrats.

“The continued House mask mandate sends the erroneous message that the efficacy of the vaccines cannot be trusted,” the GOP resolution says. “Members of the House of Representatives have a responsibility to send a message to the American people that we can trust the safety and efficacy of the available COVID-19 vaccines.”

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59 House Democrats urge Biden to ditch Republicans and go even bigger on $7 trillion of infrastructure spending

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Rep. Pramila Jayapal.

  • House Democrats sent a letter to Democratic leadership urging them to go even bigger on infrastructure funding.
  • They said that Biden should see past GOP negotiations and pass an urgently needed bill.
  • Biden has remained committed to bipartisanship and plans to negotiate on another GOP counter-offer.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Bipartisanship is the theme of President Joe Biden’s agenda these days, with him dedicating the majority of his May in persuading both sides of the aisle to get on board with his $4 trillion infrastructure plan.

But House Democrats are worried that these negotiations, while well-intentioned, could narrow down legislation that Americans urgently need, and they want Biden to go bigger – in line with his campaign promises.

Led by Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Jimmy Panetta of California, 59 House Democrats sent a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday, urging them to take the opportunity to go big on infrastructure investments. They outlined three priorities regarding the size, scope, and speed of Biden’s American Jobs Plan, and they urged the congressional leaders to not get bogged down by Republican counter-offers. The letter was first reported on by ABC News.

“We appreciate the White House’s interest in reaching across the aisle to seek Republican support for overwhelmingly popular infrastructure priorities to invest in caregiving, workforce development, the environment, housing, and education, and to make the very wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share in taxes to reduce inequality,” they wrote in the letter. “While bipartisan support is welcome, the pursuit of Republican votes cannot come at the expense of limiting the scope of popular investments.”

A group of Senate Republicans, led by Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, introduced a $568 billion counter-proposal to Biden’s infrastructure plan. They have a Tuesday deadline to bring the president a new offer to negotiate, but Democrats don’t want this to be the focus of Biden’s agenda.

Here are the three main priorities the Democrats outlined to Schumer and Pelosi:

(1) Size

The lawmakers want Biden to prioritize his campaign promise of a $7 trillion infrastructure investment, including a four-year, $2 trillion investment on climate-focused infrastructure. Currently, Biden’s American Jobs Plan proposes $2.3 trillion over eight years, but Democrats want Biden to “maintain an ambitious infrastructure size” and go even bigger.

(2) Scope

After Republicans introduced their $568 billion infrastructure plan, Democrats called it “a joke” and “a slap in the face” given how small it was compared to Biden’s. In the letter, the Democrats cited Republicans’ “widespread climate denial,” among other things, as reasons to see past bipartisan negotiations and not succumb to a deal that doesn’t meet the needs of the economy and the climate.

(3) Speed

Given the fierce Republican opposition to Biden’s infrastructure plan as he proposed it, the Democratic group said “that robust legislation comprising the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan must be enacted as rapidly as possible, preferably as a single, ambitious package combining physical and social investments hand in hand.”

Republican lawmakers said that Biden’s plan focuses on too many things beyond physical infrastructure, like roads and bridges, but Democrats remained firm in their messaging that care-economy measures, like universal pre-K and affordable housing, belong in infrastructure.

Biden and Republican lawmakers have expressed the desire to strike a bipartisan deal by Memorial Day, and Pelosi aims to get a bill to the House floor by July 4. Democratic leaders, including Pelosi and Schumer, have remained optimistic on reaching a bipartisan agreement.

“The president has his vision,” Pelosi told reporters last week. “The Congress will work its will. In any event, I felt optimistic about our ability to pass such a bill, and more optimistic now about being able to do so in a bipartisan way.”

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Nancy Pelosi is keeping a mask mandate on the House floor despite CDC guidance and pushback from Republicans

Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a news conference about the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Capitol Hill.

  • The CDC announced Thursday vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks in most settings.
  • Biden relaxed mask rules at the White House, but Pelosi said she’s keeping a mandate in the House.
  • Republicans urged her to drop the rule and “show the country we can resume normal life through vaccination.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that she would continue requiring masks to be worn on the House floor, despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new guidance.

The CDC said earlier in the day that fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks in almost all settings, including indoors, marking a significant departure from previous guidance. The new recommendations also said vaccinated people no longer need to keep physically distant. However, people who are not fully vaccinated are advised to continue wearing masks.

When asked by CNN’s Manu Raju whether she would drop the House rule in light of the news, Pelosi gave a decisive “no,” asking, “are they all vaccinated?” A spokesperson for Pelosi confirmed to Bloomberg that the mask mandate would remain because it’s not known how many lawmakers and their staff are vaccinated.

Read more: The CDC needs to stop lying to Americans and treating us all like children

Pelosi instituted a mask mandate in the chamber in July, after some Republican members refused to wear one. The Senate does not have a mask requirement.

More than 30 House Republicans, led by Rep. Bob Gibbs of Ohio, urged Pelosi in a letter to return to normal voting procedures in the chamber and to drop the mask requirement in response to the CDC update.

“The @CDCgov guidance today shows its time for Congress to practice what it preaches. There is no reason the House of Representatives should not be fully open and returned to normal operations. Enough with the Mask-erpiece Theater,” Gibbs said in a tweet.

The letter also said that every member of Congress had the chance to get vaccinated, and cited Pelosi’s statement late last month that 75% of House members have done so.

“The United States Congress must serve as a model to show the country we can resume normal life through vaccination. Let’s follow the science and get back to work,” it said.

Pelosi’s decision to keep the mandate also runs counter to President Joe Biden’s response.

Shortly after the CDC announced the new guidelines, a White House aide made an official announcement over a loudspeaker that “masks are optional if you’re vaccinated,” according to Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs, who described a “very happy mood” at the White House.

The president also celebrated the news with a straightforward message on Twitter: “After a year of hard work and so much sacrifice, the rule is now simple: get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do.”

Despite the CDC’s relaxed guidelines, private businesses and workplaces may continue to require customers or employees to wear masks.

Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.

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AOC calls Marjorie Taylor Greene a ‘belligerent person that’s not in control of themselves’ after the GOP lawmaker chased her down a hallway in the Capitol

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York; Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia

  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene a “pretty belligerent person.”
  • The comments came after Greene reportedly chased after Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday.
  • “These are the kinds of people that I threw out of bars all the time,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for pursuing her down a hallway in the Capitol and berating her on Wednesday.

“I think it’s pretty public record that this is a pretty belligerent person that’s not in control of themselves,” the New York Democrat told reporters on Thursday.

The confrontation unfolded after the two lawmakers exited the House chamber on Wednesday, according to reporting from The Washington Post. Greene shouted Ocasio-Cortez’s name twice, in an apparent attempt to get her attention, then proceeded to hurry after the New York lawmaker when she did not respond.

“You don’t care about the American people,” Greene yelled. “Why do you support terrorists and antifa?”

Ocasio-Cortez threw her hands up, but did not engage further with the Georgia Republican.

When asked for her reaction to the situation, Ocasio-Cortez told reporters on Thursday that “this isn’t even about how I feel.”

“It’s that I refuse to allow young women, people of color, people who are standing up for what they believe, to see this kind of intimidation attempts by a person who supports white supremacists in our nation’s Capitol,” she said. “I’m not going to let kids see that we’re going to be intimidated out of our fight for justice.”

The comments come hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested the House Ethics Committee investigate Greene for reportedly chasing Ocasio-Cortez through the corridor and shouting at her.

Ocasio-Cortez said its up to the committee to make a determination. “She was certainly chasing,” she told reporters.

The progressive Democrat compared the outburst to an incident last year, when she was accosted on the Capitol steps by former Republican Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida, who called her a “f— b–.” At the time, she spoke on the House floor condemning the vulgar language and sent a message to women to stick up for themselves and not “accept abuse from men.”

“I used to work as a bartender. These are the kinds of people that I threw out of bars all the time,” Ocasio-Cortez told reporters on Thursday.

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Pelosi says Marjorie Taylor Greene targeted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with ‘abuse’ and ‘verbal assault’ in the Capitol

Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) arrives for an event on Capitol Hill on April 14, 2021.

  • Nancy Pelosi suggested Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene should be investigated by the House Ethics Committee for confronting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
  • Pelosi described Greene yelling at Ocasio-Cortez and pursuing her down a hallway as “abuse” and “verbal assault.”
  • The Washington Post first reported on Greene’s behavior, which occurred as the two lawmakers exited the House chamber on Wednesday.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene should be investigated by the House Ethics Committee for aggressively questioning and pursuing Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Capitol on Wednesday.

Pelosi described Greene yelling at Ocasio-Cortez and following her down a hallway as “abuse” and “verbal assault,” and called the behavior “beyond the pale.”

“It probably is a matter for the Ethics Committee,” Pelosi told reporters, adding that it’s not her place to decide what that committee investigates. “This is beneath the dignity of a person serving in the Congress of the United States and is a cause for trauma and fear among members, especially on the heels of an insurrection in which the minority in the committee yesterday denied ever happened.”

On Wednesday, the far-right freshman lawmaker from Georgia chased Ocasio-Cortez down a hallway as the two left the House chamber, accusing her of supporting terrorists and “radical socialism,” The Washington Post reported Thursday. Greene called out “Hey Alexandria” twice as Ocasio-Cortez walked away, per The Post.

“You don’t care about the American people,” Greene yelled. “Why do you support terrorists and antifa?”

Ocasio-Cortez threw up her hands and said something to Greene that The Post’s reporters couldn’t hear. The Republican then turned to reporters and called Ocasio-Cortez a “chicken” and “pathetic.”

“She’s a chicken, she doesn’t want to debate the Green New Deal,” she said to a small group of reporters and onlookers near the entrance to the chamber. “These members are cowards. They need to defend their legislation to the people. That’s pathetic.”

In response to Wednesday’s incident, a spokeswoman for Ocasio-Cortez urged congressional leaders and others in charge of enforcing rules at the Capitol to “take real steps to make Congress a safe, civil place.”

“Representative Greene tried to begin an argument with Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and when Rep. Ocasio-Cortez tried to walk away, Congresswoman Greene began screaming and called Rep. Ocasio-Cortez a terrorist sympathizer,” the spokeswoman, Lauren Hitt, told The Post in a statement. “We hope leadership and the Sergeant at Arms will take real steps to make Congress a safe, civil place for all Members and staff – especially as many offices are discussing reopening. One Member has already been forced to relocate her office due to Congresswoman Greene’s attacks.”

Greene has repeatedly singled out Ocasio-Cortez and other progressive members of Congress and, at one point, released a campaign ad featuring an image of herself holding an assault rifle next to pictures of Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats’ faces. Facebook took down that particular ad for violating its policy against “violence and incitement.”

Ocasio-Cortez has said that she and other Democratic lawmakers don’t feel safe around many Republican House members, particularly those who have minimized or lied about the events of January 6.

Another progressive lawmaker, freshman Rep. Cori Bush, moved offices to be farther away from Greene after she accused Greene of accosting her in a Capitol hallway. Greene denied the charge and called Bush a “terrorist” for helping lead Black Lives Matter protests.

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