Tlaib becomes first Muslim woman to preside over House

Freshman Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibIsrael should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support Jewish Democrats decry Trump's 'loyalty' remarks Poll: Voters split on whether it's acceptable for Israel to deny Omar, Tlaib visas MORE (D-Mich.) become the first Muslim woman to ever preside over the House of Representatives on Wednesday. 

"Presided over the U.S. House of Representatives today. Not bad for a girl from Detroit that didn't speak English when I started school & first in my family to graduate high school & college," Tlaib wrote celebrating the historic moment on Twitter.

Tlaib presided over the House during a vote on a tribal lands bill Wednesday afternoon which was aimed at securing a federal trust status for the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe's land in Massachusetts. The measure had been opposed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE, but passed with support from Democrats. 


Her turn presiding over the House comes a week after fellow Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezStudents retreating from politics as campuses become progressive playgrounds Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Poll: Voters split on whether it's acceptable for Israel to deny Omar, Tlaib visas MORE (N.Y.) made history by becoming the youngest woman to do the job. 

It also marks a bright spot in a week of criticism for Tlaib, as she faces harsh backlash from conservatives over comments about the Holocaust.

"There’s, you know, there’s a kind of a calming feeling, I always tell folks, when I think of the Holocaust and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence, in many ways, had been wiped out," Tlaib said in an interview that aired earlier this week. "I mean, just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time."

Republicans have condemned the comments as anti-Semitic, attributing her use of the phrase "calming feeling" to describing the Holocaust itself. 

The backlash has sparked Democrats to rally behind Tlaib and demand an apology from Republicans, accusing conservatives of taking her quote out of context. Some, including Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 candidates have the chance to embrace smarter education policies Bernie Sanders Adviser talks criminal justice reform proposal, 'Medicare for All' plan Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona MORE (I-Vt.), have also suggested the criticism stems from Tlaib's Muslim faith and have blasted the attacks on the freshman lawmaker as an effort to divide "the American people up by their religion."