House progressives are seeking concrete punishment for Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) as retribution for her incendiary remarks against one of their own, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
Why it matters: House Democratic leaders continue to consider their options amid the latest ugly incident in their chamber. Republicans are already threatening retaliation after Democrats stripped Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) of her committee assignments and censured Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.).
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"She needs to be removed from her committees, absolutely," Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) said of Boebert on Wednesday.
Boebert, walking past Bush on the Capitol steps as she spoke to Axios, shot her a glance but remained silent. Her office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bush expressed hope "there are enough of us, or we can mobilize enough of us, to help leadership to see why this is a must." She said House leaders should act immediately, rather than "waiting to see what the Republicans will do."
What they're saying: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), a fellow member of The Squad with Omar, told Axios there are a "number of options before us," including censure and stripping committee assignments.
“I do believe we need to take an action," Ocasio-Cortez said.
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) has also called for Democrats to strip Boebert's committee assignments.
“Republicans should do that, but if Republicans don’t, yes, I think the majority should act," he said.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told Axios that stripping Boebert's committee assignments should be a "bipartisan thing," but added, "If it’s not going to be, then we might have to be the ones to do it.”
But, but, but: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a warning to Democrats in a closed-door caucus meeting Wednesday morning.
She said continuing to punish right-wingers for their incendiary rhetoric could end up backfiring.
"This is hard because these people are doing it for the publicity," Pelosi said, according to a source in the room.
"There's a judgment that has to be made about how we contribute to their fundraising and their publicity on how obnoxious and disgusting they can be," Pelosi added.
But Pelosi also said Boebert's rhetoric is "dangerous," and that the majority "cannot allow [Republicans] to endanger members of Congress, especially because of her faith.”
Between the lines: Omar sent shockwaves through the Capitol on Tuesday by playing a threatening, slur-filled voicemail she received from an unnamed caller, which she said was a result of Boebert's relentless anti-Muslim attacks.
Boebert is one of several right-wing members — including Greene — who refer to Omar and her progressive colleagues as the "Jihad Squad."
Boebert triggered sharp criticism this week for recounting a story in which she suggested Omar is a terror threat. She later apologized "to anyone in the Muslim community I offended."
Omar has said the encounter Boebert described never occurred.
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