July 5, 2020

Ilhan Omar – Getting Down to Business with the Congressional Freshman Class | The Daily Show

Welcome back to the show.

Oh, thank you so muchfor having me back.

It's, uh, been a long timesince you were last here, and you have done a lotsince then.

-Congratulations.

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-Thank you.

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at, uh, making your wayinto Congress.

-That is exciting.

-It's been a long journey.

It has been a long journey, and it has beena fruitful journey, as well.

Um, people love throwing”the first” at you.

Do-do you ever get tired of having to be the firstof everything? We could go, “first refugee, first Somali woman, first woman of colorto represent Minnesota.

” It's just like, “First, first, first, first, first, first.

” Sometimes peoplejust add extra “firsts” that are not real to just.

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-It becomes a thing.

Yeah, yeah.

-“First woman named 'Ilhan' -to be in Cong.

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” Yes, yes.

-Right.

Um, but-butyou are a trailblazer.

I mean, just the hijab aloneis something that fundamentally changedwhat Congress was.

There was a banon the hijab for, I think it was over 100 years, apparently? 187 years.

I-I.

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And that-that changedbecause of you.

-Yeah.

-Was there.

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was there, like, backlash? Does anyone, like, look at youand go.

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? Does anyone say anythingabout that, or was everyone like, “Yeah, yeah, this makes sense”? I mean, so, it's interesting, 'cause there was a-a ban -on hats and headwear.

-Oh.

And what people didn't realizeis that it.

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it made it unconstitutionalto apply it to me, because we are supposedto have religious liberty -in this country.

-Right.

And so, um, it would have applied a-a religious test, and, so, lifting it is just upholdingour constitution.

And people are like, “Oh, they did her a favor, and all of these people -are changing things for her.

“-Right, right, right.

And it's, like, no, we're justfollowing the constitution.

It does.

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it does feel like.

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(applause and cheering) It does.

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It does feel likethere is a certain tension around the freshman groupof congress people who have come in, you know, after these midterms.

You know, you feel a lotof the old guard, especially on the right, terrified of the group.

You know, it's yourself, it's Ocasio-Cortez, it's Rashida Tlaib.

Like, you have these people where everyone'sjust going like, “They're troublemakers, they're here to cause chaos.

” -Yeah.

-Are you there to cause chaos? I mean, they could hear uscoming from afar, and I.

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-(applause and cheering) -AndI.

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and I really believe it.

You know, I mean, all of uswere ready and are still readyto throw down on behalfof the American people.

We're ready to throw downand make sure that we're taking care ofhealth care once and for all.

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-Right.

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and that we're making sure to get rid of, uh, for-profit prisons, and that we're, um, goingto cancel out student debt -and free young people from.

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-(applause and cheering) .

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right, like, the shacklesof debt.

-Wow.

-And so.

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Trump and, um, and the Republicans could see us coming, and sothey shut down the government, and they ended up beingthis really interestingly bizarrely scripted scenefrom, like, the House of Cards.

-Yes.

-Um, excepthe wasn't as entertaining or as strategicas Frank Underwood.

And-and so we.

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we're here, like, excited to get sworn in into this historic– right?–historic Congress, and we came intoanother bizarre history, -Right.

-becausethe shutdown we walked into was the first shutdown, not only, like, the longest, but the first shutdownthat was orchestrated -by a president of this country.

-Oh, that's interesting.

Right.

And, you know, you and Icome from foreign countries, -Yes.

-and so in manyof the foreign countries around the world, ifa president or a prime minister was to shut down government, there would probably bea vote of no confidence.

-Mm-hmm.

-He wouldno longer be president.

That's interesting.

-(cheering, applause)-Right? And we're.

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and we're sitting here, and we're notholding him accountable for shutting down the governmentfor 35 days and getting nothing -out of it.

-It does.

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it does seem like Trump operates, um, under, you know, a set of rules that no one else does, and-and that's.

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-He's delusional.

That's why.

-(laughter) And you haven't been afraidto call him out on that.

But let's talkabout some of those policies -that you spoke about.

-Mm-hmm.

One of the biggest criticismsthat, you know, you always hearleveled against you, and the group of freshmenwho have come in, generally, is that people go:”Oh, these are lofty ambitions “that can't be achieved.

“America doesn't have the moneyto cancel student debt.

“America doesn't have the moneyfor Medicare for all.

American justdoesn't have the money.

” How would you proposegetting the money to pay for theseamazing programs? America has money.

Money isn't.

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We don't havea problem of scarcity, really.

What we have is a problemof moral courage.

Right? -Our budgets really aresupposed to be.

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-(applause) our budgets are supposed to be, uh, an example of.

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-of our moral values.

-Right.

And so, you know, this is whyI got on the Budget Committee, 'cause I'm excited to make surethat we have a budget -that's reflective of ourvalues.

-(cheering, applause) And so what we need to dois we need to make sure that we are prioritizingand funding policies that create positive impactin people's day-to-day lives.

-Mm-hmm.

-We have been.

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prioritizingin enriching the wealthy.

We have given in to, um.

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caving in– right?– like, tothe powers of special interests, -Right.

-and so we need to make sure that we're holdingspecial interests accountable, that we're getting moneyout of politics, that we are, uh, taxing.

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the uber rich.

-Right.

-Um, that the one percent gets to pay their fair share.

-Right.

-Um, so this is.

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this is why we're proposinga marginal tax rate.

We want to make surethat the American people recognize government as one that works for them and works on behalfof their interests.

If you.

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(cheers and applause) If you've been followingthe shutdown, for most people, the storyhas been that, um, Democrats and Republicansare now working on a plan to fund border security.

And, you know, you listento Nancy Pelosi speak, and it seems likethe biggest sticking point is really the wall, but a lot of people agree on the basic fundamentalsof giving more money to the border, to, you know, for border securityand improving that.

But yourself and a fewof your freshmen colleagues have come out, and you wrotea letter saying no, -we should cut fundingto these programs.

-Mm-hmm.

That's a really controversialstance to take.

Why? I mean, because whatwe have been doing is that we've just hadslush funds to fund privatedetention centers for young kids who are beingput in cages.

That is, that is not in linewith our values.

We want to make sure that everysingle dollar that we have, um, is used to actually care, and provide something that isin line with our values.

We have– You know, Minnesota, like, that's where I come from– -It's negative 60 degreesyesterday.

-Mm-hmm.

We have a homeless crisis.

We have people who are freezing And what we can dowith the money that we have is make sure that we'reinvesting $20 billion in providing homesto our homeless folks.

That would get rid ofhomelessness in this country.

(applause) What we can dois that we can stop the constant increaseof our defense budget.

Since 9/11, it increased nearly 50%.

We have not had that highof an increase in education funding;we haven't had that kind of increasein health care funding, right? We don't invest in the thingsthat actually, positively impact people.

But we are willingto invest in things that give contracts to, uh, companies and corporationsthat benefit from our strugglesand our pains.

And that's not gonna happenunder our watch.

Let me ask you this.

You, um.

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-(cheers and applause) You're someone who has beenvery outspoken.

You know, you've always spokenyour mind, you've always spoken directlyto people, voters, your colleagues, etcetera.

And recently, you've comeunder fire for a few of your previous comments.

-Um.

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Yeah.

-Recently.

(laughs) -But, I mean, well, mostrecently.

-It's constant.

-You know, there was a, -It's constant.

there was a tweet that you hada while ago, criticizing Israeland what, you know, how they're handling the crisisin Palestine and in Gaza.

And you said, you know, Israel is hypnotizing the worldwith what they're doing.

You apologized after that for–And what you said was really interesting to mein the apology.

You said, I apologize for focusing on the semantic argument -and clarifying my comments.

-Mm-hmm.

And– but I-I apologize for not making people understandthat I was completely not trying to be anti-Semitic, and not standing up -and fighting againstthat anti-Semitism.

-Right.

Because, I mean, you know, people who may not know, but the-the idea of Jewish peoplehypnotizing anyone is part of the stigma -that led to many of them, you know.

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-Yeah.

The Holocaust and manyof the hate crimes against them.

You apologized for that, -but you've still stood fast-But.

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with your criticism of Israel.

You-you still criticize peoplethat you don't agree with.

How do you find that balancebetween criticizing people and then also not lookinglike you are condemning mass groups of peopleas opposed to governments? Yeah.

I was gonna saywith-with that tweet, what I finally realized is, um, the realization that I hopethat people, um, come to when we're having a conversationabout white privilege.

-Right.

-You know, people would be like, “I grew upin a poor neighborhood.

-“I can't be privileged.

-Right.

“Can you stop saying that? -I haven't benefittedfrom my whiteness.

” -Uh-huh.

Um, and it's like, no, we'retalking about systematic, right? -Right, right, right.

-Um, and, so, for me, that happened for me.

I was like, “Do not call me that.

-That's not what I was doing.

“-Right.

And it was like, oh, I.

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I see what you're saying now.

And so I.

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You.

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I had to take a deep breath and understandwhere people were coming from and what pointthey were trying to make.

-Interesting.

-Um, which is whatI expect people to do when I'm talking to them, right, about things that impact meor offend me.

And what is importantin-in this conversation is that we separate the-the land, the peopleand administrations.

When I talk about.

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what we are doing wrongin this country, it's not becauseI hate this country.

It's not becauseI don't see myself as American.

It's because I love this countryand because I am American and becauseI want it to do better.

And so when I talk about placeslike Saudi Arabia or, you know, um, Israel or even now with Venezuela, I'm not criticizing the people.

I'm not criticizing their faith.

I'm not criticizing, um, their way of life.

What I am criticizing iswhat's happening at the moment, and I want for there to beaccountability so that the government, that administration, that regime can do better.

Because I believethat we all deserve better -and the human collective-Mm-hmm.

requires us to speak upwhen we see something wrong.

(cheering and applause) Thank you so muchfor coming back on.

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, everybody.

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