Georgia Republicans move to force votes on competing Tlaib censure resolutions

Georgia Republicans move to force votes on competing Tlaib censure resolutions

Two Georgia Republicans moved to force votes on competing resolutions to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) on Monday, putting a spotlight on the internal disagreements over how to penalize Tlaib for her criticisms of Israel following Hamas’s deadly attack on the U.S. ally.

Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Rich McCormick (R-Ga.) called their censure measures to the floor as privileged resolutions Monday, forcing the chamber to take action within two legislative days. Leadership can either motion to table the resolution or bring it to the floor for a vote.

The rival resolutions come after Tlaib was at the center of controversy over the weekend for posting a video on X that said President Biden “supported the genocide of the Palestinian people,” and included the phrase “from the river to the sea,” which the Anti-Defamation League cites as antisemitic. She has received bipartisan criticism for using the saying.

Tlaib, the only Palestinian American member of Congress, survived a censure attempt by Greene last week for her criticism of Israel.

Twenty-three Republicans — including McCormick — joined all Democrats in voting to shelve the legislation, with some pointing to the language of the resolution, which cited an anti-war protest organized by Jewish groups that Tlaib participated in, to accuse her of “leading an insurrection at the United States Capitol.” The measure also charged Tlaib with “antisemitic activity” and “sympathizing with terrorist organizations.”

The measure also charged Tlaib with “antisemitic activity” and “sympathizing with terrorist organizations.”

Greene’s revised resolution swaps out the mention of “insurrection” for “illegal occupation.” She also added Tlaib’s controversial social media post over the weekend.

Asked on Monday about the 23 Republicans who supported the motion to table her censure resolution last week, Greene told reporters “hopefully they vote better this time.”

After Greene’s resolution failed last week, McCormick approached Greene on the House floor and said he wanted to tweak the “insurrection” language in her measure because he thought it was important to censure Tlaib, McCormick’s office told The Hill. But McCormick’s office said Greene was not interested in working together to revise the legislation.

A source familiar with the floor interaction noted that McCormick approached Greene after the resolution was tabled and did not voice his concerns to Greene ahead of the vote. The source also said McCormick wanted to introduce the revised resolution himself, which Greene was not interested in.

McCormick’s office, however, is pushing back on that characterization, denying the congressman said he would have to introduce the revised resolution.

The two went their separate ways after Wednesday’s vote, crafting competing resolutions to censure Tlaib and moving within minutes of each other to force votes on them Monday.

Pressed Monday about McCormick’s decision to move ahead with his censure resolution, Greene told reporters: “Rep. Rich McCormick was one of the 23, and I think his ego was hurt so he decided to introduce his own.”

McCormick appeared to make a dig at Greene on Monday, writing on X, formerly Twitter: “Today I made sure that truth and accountability win the day in congress. My resolution is factual, measured, and has significant support. I am hopeful that it will pass this body with bipartisan support.”

McCormick’s measure accuses Tlaib of “promoting false narratives regarding the October 7, 2023, Hamas attack on Israel and for calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.” The legislation mentions a statement from Tlaib on Oct. 8, which pins the blame of Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack in part on aid the U.S. has provided Israel.

It also said Tlaib “knowingly spread the false narrative” that Israel bombed a hospital in Gaza, and it references her social media post over the weekend that included a video with the phrase “from the river to the sea.” And in a break from Greene’s resolution, it would not require Tlaib to present herself in the well of the House to receive the formal censure.

“Representative Tlaib has repeatedly downplayed conduct entirely unbecoming of a Member of the House of Representatives by calling for the destruction of the state of Israel and dangerously promoting false narratives regarding a brutal, large-scale terrorist attack against civilian targets inside the sovereign territory of a major non-NATO ally while hundreds of Israeli and American hostages remain in terrorist activity,” the resolution reads.

McCormick’s office said he has been in communication with leadership, including Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and his office. In a video posted on X on Thursday, McCormick said “we’re not against censureship of Tlaib, we just want to make sure it was done the right way, that the right words are used.”

“It’s very important that the wording is correct, and that’s why we submitted our own resolution for censureship of Tlaib,” McCormick added. “It’s going to be co-sponsored by several people who voted to table the first one, to make sure that it was done right.”

Tlaib slammed the censure resolutions in a statement Monday.

“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. 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,” she said. “Rather than acknowledge the voice and perspective of the only Palestinian American in Congress, my colleagues have resorted to distorting my positions in resolutions filled with obvious lies.”

Updated at 6:28 p.m.

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