Progressive Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts is introducing a resolution, cosigned by other progressives, that would strip Colorado Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of her committee assignments for her anti-Muslim and racist comments toward Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
Whether the resolution will get a vote is largely up to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
One Democrat close to the speaker told CNN on Wednesday morning that no final decisions have been made about how to deal with Boebert, but one option that has been discussed is potentially referring the matter to the House Ethics Committee. That move would be a way to avoid a cycle of leadership always having to take floor action unilaterally.
But the member also pointed out that Boebert’s continual digging in is building pressure, adding, “I think it is putting kerosene on a fire.”
Pelosi dodged when she was asked if she supported the resolution on Wednesday and repeated her call for GOP leadership to punish members of their conference.
“It’s the responsibility of Republicans to discipline their members,” the California Democrat said, a reference to how GOP House leadership has declined to take any action against Boebert since she her remarks have been widely circulated.
Democratic leaders are leery about punishing GOP members every time they do something outlandish, the source said. Lawmakers and aides have also privately shared concerns about punishing Boebert for her rhetoric considering she wasn’t threatening violence toward Omar.
Omar had called on both Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, to take action against Boebert, and called the language “hateful and dangerous.”
“Normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims,” Omar said in a recent tweet responding to Boebert. “Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in Congress.”
Republicans have in the past stripped committee assignments from its members, as was the case with former Rep. Steve King of Iowa in January 2019, following racist remarks.
McCarthy has declined to make a push for Boebert to lose her committee posts; nor did he push for Gosar or Greene to lose their assignments.
During a private GOP conference meeting on Wednesday, McCarthy instead once again urged Republicans not to attack each other and stay united, according to sources in the room. He argued to members they agree 99 percent of the time and they have a lot going for them, sources said, and they should attack the “liberal agenda” instead of one another.
Some moderate Republicans have started to warn that Republican infighting, along with allowing Greene and Boebert to suck up all the oxygen in the room, could undermine their efforts to win back the majority. But after Wednesday’s conference meeting, moderates applauded McCarthy’s efforts to take control of the situation.
“It was one of best leadership comments I’ve heard by Leader McCarthy,” said Rep. Don Bacon, a Nebraska Republican who represents a district won by Joe Biden and has been publicly critical of Greene. “It was needed.”
The introduction of the resolution from Pressley was first reported by The Washington Post. It comes days after several newly-surfaced videos show Boebert implying Omar had been mistaken for a terrorist in an elevator on Capitol Hill.
Omar foreshadowed something was coming in an interview on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday.
“I have had a conversation with the speaker, and I’m very confident that she will take decisive action next week,” Omar told CNN’s Jake Tapper at the time.
CNN has reached out to Boebert’s office for comment.
Boebert originally offered an apology to “anyone in the Muslim community I offended” following the initial reporting of her anti-Muslim comments. However, she declined to apologize directly to Omar and held a contentious phone call with the Minnesota Democrat.
Following that exchange, Boebert has since struck a defiant tone, repeated her anti-Muslim rhetoric and continued to stoke controversy. On Tuesday, Boebert tweeted a photo of her family holding semiautomatic-style weapons in front of a Christmas tree, in support of a fellow GOP congressman who faced criticism for a similar picture just days after a deadly school shooting in Michigan.
This story has been updated with additional developments Wednesday.
CNN’s Lauren Fox and Melanie Zanona contributed to this report.