Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), a stalwart defender of the Constitution and advocate of limited government, was forced to fact check a new colleague this week who claimed the 116th Congress — which was sworn in on Thursday — included the addition, for the first time ever, of a Palestinian-American.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), the first ever Somali-American elected to Congress, said:
The #116thCongress has SO much to be proud of:
✅1st Somali-American + Refugee
✅1st Muslim women ( @RashidaTlaib & I)
✅1st Indigenous women
✅Youngest (28) @AOC
✅Record 100+ women
✅Largest ever Black (55), Hispanic (37), & Progressive (98) caucuses
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 3, 2019
Omar's reference to the first "Palestinian-American" is a nod to Michigan's Rashida Tlaib (D). However, Tlaib is not the first Palestinian-American elected to Congress.
In fact, it is Amash — who was elected to the House in 2010 — who holds the honor of being the first Palestinian-American ever elected to Congress. Amash's father came to America as a Palestinian refugee, while his mother is Syrian.
Amash was quick to fact check Omar's claim:
My father is Palestinian, and I've been in Congress since 2011.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) January 4, 2019
I should add that my mother is Syrian! I’m proud of my heritage on both sides, though I more often have mentioned my father’s background because he was a refugee.— Justin Amash (@justinamash)January 5, 2019
Still, Tlaib is the first Palestinian-American woman elected to Congress.