Dems struggle to respond to Rep. Omar over Israel comments

Dems struggle to respond to Rep. Omar over Israel comments
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., walks through an underground tunnel at the Capitol as top House Democrats plan to offer a measure that condemns anti-Semitism in the wake of controversial remarks by the freshman congresswoman, in Washington, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. Omar said last week that Israel's supporters are pushing U.S. lawmakers to take a pledge of "allegiance to a foreign country." Despite criticism from Democrats and Republicans, Omar has refused to apologize. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (Source: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats are struggling with how to declare they are against bigotry, bias and racism after progressives challenged an effort to rebuke freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar for her remarks on Israel.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledged during a closed meeting on Wednesday that her caucus faces "internal issues" that require "a clearer understanding of what our purpose is as a caucus," a knowledgeable Democratic aide told The Associated Press. Pelosi cautioned Democrats not to question each other's motivation or patriotism.

Pelosi’s remarks come as Democrats pull back from their original plan to vote on a resolution implicitly rebuking Omar for saying lawmakers are under pressure to pledge “allegiance” to Israel. Unlike her previous comments about the Jewish state, Omar is not apologizing for that remark, and progressives are supporting her.

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