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Rashida Tlaib becomes first Muslim woman to preside over House floor

Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib notched another historic first on Wednesday afternoon, becoming the first Muslim woman to preside over the House floor.

Her turn on Wednesday leading the proceedings of the House of Representatives came months after she, along with Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, became the first Muslim women to join the US Congress.

Tlaib told CNN ahead of the moment that her family would be tuning into C-SPAN to watch from home.

“I’m excited, my family’s excited,” Tlaib said.

Proceedings on the House floor are led by the speaker of the House or people presiding in her sted from the speaker’s party. House freshmen, like Tlaib, have been worked slowly into the rotation recently of learning how to preside over the floor.

Tlaib tweeted about the experience following presiding over the floor, writing, “Not bad for a girl from Detroit that didn’t speak English when I started school & first in my family to graduate high school & college.”

She continued, “This was a proud moment & it sank in just a little more that I am serving in Congress.”

Last Friday, Tlaib’s fellow freshman Democrat, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, presided for the first time, becoming the youngest woman ever to do so.

“Today I presided over the House floor for the first time. Every day here is a sacred privilege + responsibility entrusted to me by my community. I never forget that, and moments like these drive it home. Thank you to the people of NY14 + beyond. This House belongs to all of us,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted after she was through.

Iowa Democratic Rep. Abby Finkenauer also presided over the House for her first time last week, and afterward, she tweeted that when she texted her parents about watching, she found out they record C-SPAN “all day, every single day we are in session.”

“Today, I learned that my parents record CSPAN, all day, every single day we are in session. So, that’s adorable,” Finkenauer tweeted.

Tlaib has made waves since joining Congress, attracting attention for her efforts to impeach President Donald Trump and recently finding herself under fire from top Republicans and Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations for comments about Israel and the Holocaust that she and top Democrats said were misconstrued for political ends.

“Policing my words, twisting & turning them to ignite vile attacks on me will not work. All of you who are trying to silence me will fail miserably. I will never allow you to take my words out of context to push your racist and hateful agenda. The truth will always win,” Tlaib said in response to the backlash.

Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise and Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the second and third-highest ranking House Republicans, each falsely accused Tlaib of saying the Holocaust gave her a “calming feeling,” although in fact, she referred to it as a tragedy.

In her comments, however, Tlaib did appear to make ahistorical claims about Palestinians providing a “safe haven” for Jews fleeing Europe ahead of the establishment of the modern state of Israel, despite deep-seated opposition at the time to Jewish settlement there and the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

CNN News

CNN News

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