Tlaib becomes first Muslim woman to preside over House

Freshman Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibSteyer plans impeachment push targeting Democrats over recess Tlaib urges Mnuchin to seek personal legal advice Pelosi faces tipping point on Trump impeachment 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 TrumpPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage Mike Pence delivers West Point commencement address MORE, but passed with support from Democrats. 


Her turn presiding over the House comes a week after fellow Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezGOP amps up efforts to recruit women candidates Ocasio-Cortez, progressives trash 'antisemitic' Politico illustration of Bernie Sanders Biden under pressure from environmentalists on climate plan 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 SandersJames Carville: Biden represents 'stability' not 'generational change' Ocasio-Cortez, progressives trash 'antisemitic' Politico illustration of Bernie Sanders 2020 Democrats target federal ban on abortion funding 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."