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Rep. Omar Rebuffs Pelosi: I’m in Congress to Make ‘Trouble’

‘We are not there to be quiet’

The battle within the Democratic Party received fresh energy last night when Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) rebuffed the Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who’s suggested freshmen lawmakers need to “go slow.”

Rep. Omar bristled at the advice, telling “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” that Pelosi “knows” women don’t make progress by “going slow.”

“Nancy knows this very well,” Rep. Omar told Colbert. “Women has been told to go slow and not be seen and not be heard for many years. And she wouldn’t have made it to where she is if he did. And it’s certainly the case for minority women, and the three of us are minorities and people of color. We are not there to be quiet. We are not there to be invisible.”

The lawmaker said she’s in Congress to make “trouble.”

“We are there to follow the lead of people like Congressman John Lewis and make good trouble,” Rep. Omar said. 

Here’s an excerpt from the exchange:

COLBERT: “She— she said that you should have apologized. She asked you to apologize. She and other members of both the Republican and the Democratic Party have said to new members, you, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a lot of new, outspoken quite noted new members of Congress, to basically slow down, don’t do too much, backbench it, see how everything works, you know, find out where the bathrooms are and, you know, and where the copy machine is before you start making waves. What do you say to those people who say, ‘Go slow’?”

OMAR: “Ah, I think Nancy knows this very well. Women has been told to go slow and not be seen and not be heard for many years. And she wouldn’t have made it to where she is if he did. And it’s certainly the case for minority women, and the three of us are minorities and people of color. We are not there to be quiet. We are not there to be invisible. (Cheering and Applause) We — we are there to follow the lead of people like Congressman John Lewis and make good trouble.”

COLBERT: “Well, thank you for being here.”

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