A Democratic congressman labeled Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R., Texas) "a racist" after he was asked to condemn Rep. Ilhan Omar ‘s (D., Minn.) anti-Semitic remarks.
Rep. Sean Casten (D., Ill.) on Oct. 5 told a voter that Omar's controversial comments about supporters of Israel were "horribly inappropriate." But the congressman then pivoted to attack Crenshaw for introducing an amendment to prevent illegal immigrants from voting.
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"The last amendment on the floor that day … came from Dan Crenshaw, the new Republican, the Navy SEAL with the eyepatch," he said. "He came up with an amendment to say, ‘we're going to add a rider on this bill that says that illegals can't vote.' And I sat there and I said, ‘you know what? You're not allowed to vote if you're not a citizen.' … Why are you doing that? The reason you're doing that is because you are a racist. Because you are trying to appeal to people who will vote for you if you stand up and oppose brown people."
"That's what we have to stand up to," he added. "This ain't about Ilhan Omar. Did she say some unfortunate things? You bet she did. But you know what? She apologized for it."
Omar tweeted in February it was "all about the Benjamins" for pro-Israel politicians and accused the lobbying group AIPAC of paying them off.
Crenshaw's office told the Washington Free Beacon it appreciated the focus on Crenshaw's "record of protecting Americans' right to vote," but that insults coming from someone who once likened President Donald Trump to Osama bin Laden "won't be taken seriously."
"If Rep. Casten is so deeply offended that our laws prohibit non-citizens from voting in federal elections, then he should be honest with his constituents and let them know how little he values the power of their vote," spokeswoman Kerry Rom said.
Crenshaw's attempt to amend H.R. 1, the "For The People Act of 2019," was defeated, with the vote falling almost completely along party lines.
While running for Congress last year, Casten drew criticism when he said Trump and bin Laden "have a tremendous amount in common." Casten went on to oust Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.) in November.