(WASHINGTON) — Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib will face another possible censure over her criticism of Israel.
The House will consider a resolution introduced by Rep. Rich McCormick, R-Ga., that would censure Tlaib for “promoting false narratives regarding the October 7, 2023, Hamas attack on Israel and for calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.”
Tlaib’s critics point to her use of the phrase “from the river to the sea,” which is considered by many as a call for the end of Israel’s existence. Tlaib, however, has said it’s “an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction, or hate.”
Tlaib also accused members of “distorting” her views on the conflict, stating she’s “repeatedly denounced the horrific targeting and killing of civilians by Hamas and the Israeli government, and have mourned the Israeli and Palestinian lives lost.” She also pledged to continue to call for a cease-fire as well as for the release of hostages held by Hamas, the delivery of humanitarian aid and “a just and lasting peace that upholds the human rights and dignity of all people.”
An attempt by House Democrats to table, or effectively kill, the McCormick resolution failed on Tuesday afternoon. The House will debate the censure resolution and is expected to hold a final passage vote Wednesday, according to an updated schedule from House Majority Whip Tom Emmer.
A vote to censure a member of Congress does not hold power beyond a public condemnation of the member’s behavior. It does not deny privileges in Congress or expel the member. A simple majority is all that is needed for a censure resolution to pass.
It will be the second attempt in as many weeks looking to condemn Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American member of Congress, for her controversial comments about Israel amid its response to the deadly Hamas terror attack. The U.S. has designated Hamas a terrorist organization.
In Israel, at least 1,400 people have been killed and 6,900 others have been injured since the surprise attack on Oct. 7, according to Israeli officials. In the neighboring Gaza Strip, where Israel Defense Forces are deepening its operational activities, more than 10,000 people have been killed and nearly 26,000 have been injured, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.
The first resolution, brought by Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene last week, was killed by House Democrats with the help of some Republicans. The House rejected the Georgia congresswoman’s effort by a vote of 222-186.
Tlaib first drew ire of some colleagues for refusing to apologize for blaming Israel for a deadly hospital blast in Gaza that U.S. officials believed to have been caused by a Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket.
More recently, she’s faced pushback for calling for a cease-fire as the Israel-Gaza war rages on. She’s gone as far as to accuse President Joe Biden of supporting a Palestinian “genocide” over his administration’s resistance to a general cease-fire, though Biden has called for temporary pauses in the fighting to allow humanitarian aid to enter and for civilians to leave.
Tlaib defended her views in a statement released earlier Tuesday.
“It’s a shame my colleagues are more focused on silencing me than they are on saving lives, as the death toll in Gaza surpasses 10,000,” she wrote. “Many of them have shown me that Palestinian lives simply do not matter to them, but I still do not police their rhetoric or actions.”
Tlaib also accused members of “distorting” her views on the conflict, stating she’s “repeatedly denounced the horrific targeting and killing of civilians by Hamas and the Israeli government, and have mourned the Israeli and Palestinian lives lost.”
Later Tuesday, the House is also planning to take up Greene’s revamped resolution to censure Tlaib.
Greene altered her resolution from last week, removing language that accused Tlaib of leading an “insurrection” during an Oct. 18 pro-Palestinian protest. In the new resolution, Greene wrote Tlaib “incited an illegal occupation at the United States Capitol Complex” through the protest.
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