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House GOP apathetic on Boebert's Islamophobic remarks

Chris Marquette, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON — Just a few days after Iowa Rep. Steve King made comments sympathetic to white supremacy in January of 2019, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other top Republicans decided he was not fit to serve on committees.

“We believe in swift action, because we do not believe in his words,” McCarthy, a California Republican, said at the time.

A video emerged last week of Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert calling Rep. Ilhan Omar a member of the “Jihad squad,” a pejorative reference to the Minnesota Democrat’s Muslim faith and her membership to a well-known group of progressives, known as the squad.

Boebert recounted a story — which Omar has said is false — in which the two members and a Boebert staffer were in a Capitol elevator. Boebert said a fretful Capitol Police officer ran toward the elevator as the door was shutting and she saw Omar to her left side and said, “well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine.”

McCarthy and his conference have been largely silent in publicly condemning Boebert’s comments. He did not respond to a question Thursday on whether her remarks were wrong. A McCarthy spokesperson did not respond to an email request for comment.

Representatives for Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik of New York did not respond to requests for comment.


A Boebert spokesperson, when asked for comment, referred to her earlier statement on Twitter.

Save for a select few Republicans — such as South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace, New York Rep. Tom Reed or Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger — members of the GOP conference, and its leaders, have shown apathy to condemning Boebert’s remarks.

Mace, who publicly rejected Boebert’s comments, drew a barrage of vitriol from Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has a history of inflammatory remarks herself.

When asked if Boebert’s comments were wrong, Republican members CQ Roll Call spoke with Wednesday and Thursday did not answer the question.


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