Dems want to overturn ban on hats on House floor with election of 2 Muslim congresswomen

New member-elect Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., center, attends a welcome briefing sponsored by the the House Administration Committee on Capitol Hill November 15, 2018 in Washington, DC. The new 116th congress will be sworn in on January 3, 2019. Omar wears a headscarf and, under current rules in the House, headwear is banned on the floor.
Caption
New member-elect Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., center, attends a welcome briefing sponsored by the the House Administration Committee on Capitol Hill November 15, 2018 in Washington, DC. The new 116th congress will be sworn in on January 3, 2019. Omar wears a headscarf and, under current rules in the House, headwear is banned on the floor.

Credit: Mark Wilson

Credit: Mark Wilson

Democrats in Congress want to change a 181-year-old rule in the U.S. House of Representatives banning hats on the House floor.

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With the election of two Muslim women, Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar, to the 116th Congress, a Democratic proposal would allow lawmakers to wear religious headwear on the floor.

Omar wears a headscarf while Tlaib does not.

The current rule, implemented in 1837, says every member shall “remain uncovered” while in session on the House floor.

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Democrats and supporters say the change will promote diversity and ensure the freedom of religious expression is protected on Capitol Hill.

“We've seen increasing diversity in Congress, and I think with that increase in diversity, you have to have a change to the existing rules to reflect that,” Ibrahim Hooper, with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said.

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The proposed change is included as part of a slate of rule changes Democrats are trying to implement once they assume control of the House next year.

Shelby Lin Erdman contributed to this report.