Tlaib becomes first Muslim woman to preside over House

Freshman Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibThe Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue Progressive lawmakers call for conditions on Israel aid Ocasio-Cortez pitches interns to work for her instead of McConnell 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 TrumpNew Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' Trump on Confederate flag: 'It's freedom of speech' MORE, but passed with support from Democrats. 


Her turn presiding over the House comes a week after fellow Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezWhat to watch in New Jersey's primaries on Tuesday Democratic strategist Andrew Feldman says Biden is moving left Hispanic Caucus asks Trump to rescind invitation to Mexican president 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 SandersJoe Biden wins New Jersey primary Biden wins Delaware primary Military madness in the age of COVID-19 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."