Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) announced the launch of a policy working group to hear from officials and experts working on and in Africa, as his committee’s assignment remains unclear.
Omar launched the US-Africa Policy Working Group on Tuesday, saying in a statement that the group will hold briefings with administration officials, journalists and people from organizations and social movements that affect relations between Africa and the United States. The group will focus primarily on conflicts within Africa and its global interests, including “perspectives” of the Russia-Ukraine war and “the rise of China,” the statement said.
“Our role is to partner with the movements and civil society groups working on the ground,” Omar said in a statement. “For too long, the United States has viewed Africa as a threat that needs to be contained, a series of fires that needs to be put out, or a junior partner that needs to be disciplined.”
The Minnesota Democrat noted that Congress has paid little attention to issues in Africa and that the group works to research how best to deal with partners on the continent.
“Congress has historically paid little attention to the continent, but prompted reactive responses to extreme situations. The US-Africa Policy Working Group is a venue for the promotion of American values and American interests in our dealings with our African partners,” he said.
“It is my sincere hope that Congress will be a central player in creating lasting partnerships and building a base of expertise to help engage US policy in Africa more actively and continue the dialogue for many years to come.” Omar continued.
she wrote back Twitter Absence from the Africa subcommittee removed “all the voices that have never been heard on the continent’s committee”.
Omar faces opposition from House Republicans on assigning him to the Foreign Affairs Committee, as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has vowed to keep him off the committee. McCarthy cited Omar’s “repeated anti-Semitic and anti-American remarks” as the reason for his boot from the committee.
Omar, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, has apologized for remarks that critics said were anti-Semitic. He said on Sunday that his removal from the Foreign Affairs Committee was because of his religion, as his opponents argued on CNN’s State of the Union that it was “not right to have a Muslim voice on that committee.”
It’s not yet clear whether McCarthy will have the votes to block Omar, with at least three House Republicans indicating they won’t support the effort.