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McCarthy puzzled by GOP defectors who won't boot Ilhan Omar from committee

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 6 days ago Juliegrace Brufke
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Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is calling on members of his conference to support a resolution to remove progressive Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from her position on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as a handful of GOP members have expressed reluctance to the idea.

McCarthy has long vowed to take Omar off the panel, citing her inflammatory comments about Israel that were criticized by members on both sides of the aisle as antisemitic in addition to removing Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff (CA) and Eric Swalwell (CA) off the House Intelligence Committee, which he did on Tuesday.

McCarthy's push came in the wake of Democrats voting to remove conservative Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) from their committee assignments after a string of controversies with the support of a small group of Republicans.

While McCarthy can unilaterally reject members from joining a select committee, removing Omar would require a floor vote. The California Republican argued that her remarks, which entailed her suggesting that pro-Israel lawmakers were motivated by money, warrant her being taken off the panel.


“It would be odd to me that members would not support that based upon her comments against Israel,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN) said Tuesday that she does not believe removing Omar from the committee is the right course of action.

“Two wrongs do not make a right. Speaker Pelosi took unprecedented actions last Congress to remove Reps. Greene and Gosar from their committees without proper due process. Speaker McCarthy is taking unprecedented actions this Congress to deny some committee assignments to the Minority without proper due process again,” she said in a statement.

“As I spoke against it on the House floor two years ago, I will not support this charade again. Speaker McCarthy needs to stop 'bread and circuses' in Congress and start governing for a change,” she added.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) recently told CNN that she won’t support the measure if it comes to the floor. And two additional GOP lawmakers told the Washington Examiner they are weighing their decision but have reservations.


In a joint statement, Omar, Schiff and Swalwell slammed McCarthy for his efforts, alleging he is taking unnecessary retaliatory action for political gain.

“It’s disappointing but not surprising that Kevin McCarthy has capitulated to the right wing of his caucus, undermining the integrity of the Congress, and harming our national security in the process,” they said Tuesday.

“He struck a corrupt bargain in his desperate, and nearly failed, attempt to win the Speakership, a bargain that required political vengeance against the three of us," they added. "But despite these efforts, McCarthy won’t be successful. We will continue to speak out against extremism and doggedly defend our democracy.”


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Tags: Kevin McCarthy, Ilhan Omar, Eric Swalwell, Adam Schiff, House GOP

Original Author: Juliegrace Brufke

Original Location: McCarthy puzzled by GOP defectors who won't boot Ilhan Omar from committee


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