Speaker Nancy Pelosi in announcing committee assignments for the 116th Congress has appointed Representative Ilhan Omar to the powerful foreign affairs committee which oversees all foreign assistance, national security affecting the country’s foreign policy, treaties, peacekeeping and war powers.
Omar, one of two first Muslim women to serve in Congress and the first black person born in Africa in Congress, will also sit in the Education & Labor Committee. The latter oversees education programs from pre-school to higher education—including Head Start, child nutrition programs, higher education programs, and financial oversight of the U.S. Department of Education. It also oversees labor initiatives—from job training to retirement security, union rights, occupational health and safety, and the minimum wage.
On her appointment to the foreign affairs committee, Omar said: “As someone who has seen firsthand the havoc wreaked by war, I am proud to serve on the committee that is responsible for overseeing our country’s—and this President’s—actions abroad,” Rep. Omar said. “This couldn’t come at a more critical time. We need to use the committee’s human rights jurisdiction to hold the President accountable for deaths in detention centers on his watch. We need to investigate how foreign governments and their lobbyists have violated our laws. And we need to reign in arms sales to human rights abusers like Saudi Arabia. I look forward to working with Chairman Engel and the committee to pursue these priorities.”
The first term congresswoman is on record as saying she will focus on the burdensome student loans that Americans have. She said her appointment to the education and labor committees should help towards that goal as its activities play a big role in the everyday lives of Minnesotans.
“The Education and Labor Committee is the committee that can transform these ideas into legislation. I look forward to working with Chairman Scott and my fellow committee members to accomplish these goals and hold the current administration accountable for its efforts to stack the deck further in favor of the wealthy few.”