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House Oversight Cancels Hearing With D.C. Mayor After GW Protest Arrests

  A House hearing that was set to feature D.C. Democratic Mayor   Muriel Bowser   testifying about the response to an anti-Israel protest en...

 A House hearing that was set to feature D.C. Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser testifying about the response to an anti-Israel protest encampment at George Washington University has been canceled after police made dozens of arrests at the site on Wednesday.

“Following the Metropolitan Police Department finally clearing out the unlawful encampment on GW’s campus, I am very pleased to announce that the hearing with Mayor Bowser has been canceled,” House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY) announced just hours before the event had been scheduled to take place on Capitol Hill.

“I had a good conversation with Mayor Bowser. I thanked her for finally clearing the trespassers off the GW Campus. It was unfortunate the situation at GW forced the Oversight Committee to act; however it was apparent that the DC police force was not going to do their job,” Comer added.

Comer and other House Republicans visited George Washington University last week and called on Bowser and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to clear out the encampment of protesters after D.C. police rejected a request from university officials to crack down on the demonstration.

The hearing on Wednesday was meant to conduct oversight on the city’s response to “unlawful activity and anti-Semitism,” but plans changed when police moved in on the encampment in the early morning and made at least 33 arrests — with authorities citing a “gradual escalation in the volatility of the protest” on campus.

“After meeting with GW leadership and touring the encampment, we decided to hold a public hearing to get answers as to why the Mayor would not uphold the law,” Comer said. “I am pleased that the potential Oversight hearing led to swift action by Mayor Bowser and MPD Chief [Pamela] Smith. We will continue to hold D.C. officials accountable to ensure our nation’s capital is safe for all.”


The GOP-led House has engaged in a multi-committee effort to combat anti-Semitism on university campuses after protests in response to the Israel-Hamas war sprung up at colleges across the country. Last week, the chamber passed an anti-Semitism definition bill meant to guide enforcement of federal anti-discrimination laws for educational programs.

In response to the hearing on the GW protest encampment being cancelled, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) declared on X, “It shouldn’t have taken the threat of a Congressional hearing for DC Mayor Bowser to finally allow DC Police to respond to George Washington University’s call for them to clear the anti-Semitic and unlawful encampments. It should’ve been done on Day 1.”

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