ilhan omar

Ilhan Omar: Diversity in Congress Leads to Better Policy
Meet the New Congress

Ilhan Omar came to the United States from Somalia as refugee when she was a child. Earlier this month, she became one of the first Muslim women to be elected to Congress. Omar talks diversity in the 116th Congress, Democratic leadership and priorities and more in Roll Call's occasional series getting to know the new members.

After 181 Years of No Hats in Congress, Dems Eye Exception for Religious Garb
Ilhan Omar will become the first federal legislator to wear a religious headscarf

Member-elect Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., will be the first member of congress to wear a hijab. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Hats have been banned from the House chamber of the Capitol for nearly two centuries — 181 years, to be exact. Under a new proposal from Democrats, the rule would be relaxed to allow religious headwear, like a hijab or kippah. 

The change was proposed jointly by Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Incoming Rules Chairman Jim McGovern and member-elect Ilhan Omar as part of a larger overhaul package.

Abuse Allegations Loom Over Minnesota Race to Replace Ellison
Female candidates dominate 5th District Democratic-Farmer-Labor primary

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison vacated his 5th District seat to run for state attorney general. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic candidates running for Rep. Keith Ellison’s seat in Minnesota’s deep-blue 5th District are pushing voters to the polls Tuesday, as abuse allegations against the congressman threatened to send them off-message in the campaign’s closing hours.

The three front-runners for the Democratic-Farmer-Labor nod in Tuesday’s primary declined to take sides when asked at a candidate forum Monday about allegations that Ellison physically abused a former girlfriend — which he has denied. The six-term congressman vacated the 5th District seat to run for state attorney general. 

Minnesota 5th District Candidates Sidestep Ellison Allegations
Democratic primary in the state is Tuesday

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., who is running for state attorney general, has been accused of abuse by a former girlfriend. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Three top Democrats running to succeed Rep. Keith Ellison in Minnesota’s 5th District responded cautiously Monday to allegations that he abused a former girlfriend in 2016.

The candidates did not say whether they believed the allegations against the six-term Democratic lawmaker, who has denied that the long-term relationship included physical abuse. They also did not call for him to resign or drop out of his current race for state attorney general.