Republicans make push to remove Omar from Foreign Affairs committee

 February 1, 2023

One of the most notoriously extreme and anti-American members of Congress, Ilhan Omar (D-Mn.), could finally lose her seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee this week. 

House Republicans, led by Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.), are moving towards a vote to make it happen as soon as Thursday, reports say.

Omar's ouster?

Omar has been accused of using anti-Semitic cliches since she entered the halls of Congress in 2019 and claimed Israel controlled U.S. foreign policy, saying "it's all about the Benjamins." She also notoriously downplayed the 9/11 attack as "some people who did something."

Republican Max Miller (Oh.) teed up a resolution Tuesday to remove Omar that cited her inflammatory rhetoric.

“Omar clearly cannot be an objective decision-maker on the Foreign Affairs Committee given her biases against Israel and the Jewish people,” Miller’s resolution said.

Republicans have long said Omar's incendiary comments should disqualify her from a position on the powerful Foreign Affairs committee, where she has served the past four years. But Omar, like she has often done when criticized, has called the effort to remove her racist and anti-Muslim "censorship."

“There is nothing objectively true in this resolution. It’s all perceived and filled with pretext,” Omar said.

Tit for tat

The push comes after Kevin McCarthy booted conspiracy theorists Adam Schiff (D-Ca.) and Eric Swalwell (D-Ca.), both known for spreading the false Russian collusion smear, from the House Intelligence Committee.

Republicans say they're just doing what Democrats in the last Congress did to Republicans like Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), who had her committees taken over social media posts -- an unprecedented punishment at the time.

Democrats gloated when it was MTG getting booted off committees, but now they've suddenly discovered the high ground of principle.

"This is about vengeance. This is about spite. This is about politics," Rep. James McGovern (D-Ma.), the ranking member on the Rules Committee, said.

Test for McCarthy

The vote to remove Omar is another early test of McCarthy's power to unite his narrow majority after his Speaker bid was derailed for several days by hard-right holdouts.

One of those holdouts, Matt Gaetz (R-Fl.), has expressed ambivalence about penalizing Omar for her speech.

“We shouldn’t lump Omar and Schiff and Swalwell together in one bucket. Very different with the Intelligence Committee,” Gaetz said.

Republican Victoria Spartz (In.) similarly expressed concern about House members being removed from committees without "due process," but she now says she will vote to remove Omar after McCarthy agreed to include language addressing the issue.

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