House advances Tlaib censure resolution, teeing up final vote

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The House advanced a resolution to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) on Tuesday, teeing up a final vote on legislation penalizing the Michigan Democrat for her criticism of Israel following Hamas’s attack on the U.S. ally last month.

The chamber defeated a Democratic-led motion to kill the resolution 208-213-1.

One Democrat voted to advance the resolution, while six Republicans voted to table it.

Democratic leadership had urged members to shelve the legislation. The majority of the caucus defended Tlaib’s right to make the controversial comments, citing the First Amendment, despite most disagreeing with her words.

The House will now debate the resolution, sponsored by Rep. Rich McCormick (R-Ga.). A final vote is expected Wednesday, and the measure requires majority support in the chamber.

While symbolic, censure measures carry little weight. There are no repercussions for the non-binding resolution following the vote, though it carries the stigma of being disciplined by a lawmaker’s colleagues.

Tuesday’s vote marked the second time in a week that the House weighed in on a resolution to censure Tlaib — the only Palestinian American serving in Congress — for her comments in the wake of Hamas’s attack on Israel.

Twenty-three Republicans joined Democrats last week in voting to kill a Tlaib censure resolution sponsored by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), with some voicing concern with the language in the legislation, which accused Tlaib of “inciting an insurrection” for her participation in an anti-war protest.

Greene revised her resolution over the weekend, and the House is scheduled to hold a separate procedural vote on the legislation Tuesday evening.

The two competing censure resolutions targeting Tlaib come amid increased controversy surrounding the Michigan Democrat, who caused a stir over the weekend when she posted a video on X that said President Biden “supported the genocide of the Palestinian people,” and included clips of protestors chanting “from the river to the sea,” a phrase the Anti-Defamation League labels as antisemitic. In a subsequent post, she defended the use of the controversial saying.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle criticized Tlaib for her comment.

The congresswoman, for her part, is remaining defiant in the face of mounting condemnation. In a statement on Monday, Tlaib slammed her colleagues for launching efforts against her while continuing her call for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

“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,” Tlaib said. “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.”

“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,” she added.

McCormick’s resolution 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 cites Tlaib’s use of the phrase “from the river to the sea,” which the measure says “is widely recognized as a genocidal call to violence to destroy the state of Israel and its people to replace it with a Palestinian state extending from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.”

The resolution also references a statement from Tlaib on Oct. 8 that suggested U.S. aid to Israel was in-part to blame for the violence playing out in the Middle East, and charges her with “promoting false narratives regarding the October 7, 2023, Hamas attack on Israel and for calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.”

McCormick moved to force a vote on his censure resolution on Monday, days after he voted to table Greene’s initial legislation penalizing Tlaib because of the “insurrection” language.

Greene’s revised resolution swapped out the word “insurrection” for “illegal occupation” and added a clause pertaining to Tlaib’s controversial social media post from over the weekend.

The rival censure resolutions are highlighting the disagreements — and tensions — within the House GOP conference over penalizing Tlaib for her controversial comments.

McCormick’s office told The Hill that the congressman approached Greene on the House floor after the chamber voted to table her resolution last week and said he wanted to revise the “insurrection” language because he believed it was important to punish the Michigan Democrat for her comments. Greene, however, was not interested in working with her GOP colleague to revise the measure, according to McCormick’s office.

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.

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