My Somali friends took an intense interest in H.R. 1158 (“DHS Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act of 2019”), sponsored by Rep. Michael McCaul. The text of the bill is posted here; the Senate Appropriations Committee summary of key provisions is posted here. The bill has passed both houses of Congress and now awaits only the president’s signature.
The Club for Growth scored the bill as a key vote and opposed it. I know next to nothing about the bill and take no position on it. My purpose here is otherwise.
Among other things, the bill includes a first pass at debt relief for Somalia. The United States is Somalia’s biggest creditor ($1.1 billion); the bill reportedly provides $35 million toward the principal. I am unable to identify what provision of the bill gets this done, but I take it that it does.
Given the interest in debt relief for Somalia among the Twin Cities’ Somali community, Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Ilhan Omar issued a press release “hailing” the bill. The press release attributes these words to Omar in quotation marks:
I am thrilled we were able to secure debt relief for Somalia today. Somalia continues to hold crushing amounts of debt—which holds back the economy and keeps millions of Somalis in poverty. This doesn’t just have an impact on Somalis in Somalia, but on the thousands of Somali- Americans who live in my district and have family in the region.
This debt relief package is a major milestone that validates the incredible progress that Somalia has made in the past several years. This should not be seen as the end, but the beginning of renewed diplomatic engagement with the country. There is still more that must be done when it comes to strengthening democracy, respect for human rights, and the relationship between Villa Somalia, regional governments and the people. The U.S. can play a major role in all of this.
Debt relief is a step in the right direction, and I look forward to continuing to work for the free, peaceful, democratic Somalia we all want to see.
Omar retweeted Harun Maruf’s tweet below.
Representative Ilhan Omar’s statement on efforts to achieve a complete debt relief for Somalia pic.twitter.com/SWcWEGZFpE
— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) December 17, 2019
Omar herself proclaimed on Twitter: “We got this done today!”
We got this done today! Inshallah Somalia is now set up to move towards progress and prosperity. https://t.co/h3KIBtrIct
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 17, 2019
Here’s the funny thing. Omar opposed the bill.
Let me run that by you one more time. Omar voted no.
As I have said a time or two before, everything about Omar is a fraud, including her name.