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Congresswoman Betty McCollum

Representing the 4th District of Minnesota

STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO CONSTITUENT CONCERNS REGARDING COMMENTS BY REP. ILHAN OMAR

March 6, 2019
Press Release

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) released the following statement: 

"After eight years in the minority, Democrats are now responsible for governing the U.S. House of Representatives. Our Democratic majority increasingly reflects America’s diversity – racial, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, and generational. This diversity among my Democratic colleagues is a strength, however it also requires respect and sensitivity for the diverse policy views, personal experiences, and heartfelt beliefs of our colleagues and the constituents we represent. At times, Democrats will have profound policy disagreements, but we must never question a colleague’s motives or personal integrity.

"My Minnesota colleague, Rep. Ilhan Omar, believes she has spoken honestly and forcefully about an issue of importance to her. Many of my colleagues, especially my Jewish colleagues, interpreted her words as personal attacks and deeply offensive. The situation is dividing Democrats, which is exactly what the Republican minority and President Trump are seeking to achieve.

"Rep. Omar has the right to speak freely, and she also must take responsibility for the effect her words have on her colleagues, her constituents, and the policies Democrats seek to advance. She has the power to remedy this situation with her colleagues and prevent it from happening again in the future. Democrats have an important agenda to advance and for any Member of Congress to be successful it takes the support of at least 217 colleagues to pass a bill. No one does this job alone."

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