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Kevin McCarthy maintains his pledge to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar from foreign affairs committee

CBS Minnesota 11/21/2022 WCCO Staff

WASHINGTON -- U.S. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy says he will remove Rep. Ilhan Omar from her committee assignment if he's elected as speaker of the House.

Last January, McCarthy pledged to remove three House Democrats from their committees if Republicans regain control of the House and elect him speaker. Those Democrats include Omar, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Reps. Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff, who serve on the House Intelligence Committee.

McCarthy says he'd remove Omar due to "her repeated anti-semitic and anti-American remarks."

McCarthy's tweet was tagged by Twitter with added context that clarifies the position does not have the power to remove Omar from her committee. It would take a majority vote by the entire House.

Omar released a statement, saying Republicans used "fear, xenophobia, Islamophobia and racism" to target her on the House floor and through millions of dollars spent on campaign ads.

"They have openly tolerated antisemitism, anti-Muslim hate and racism in their own party. Newly-elected Whip Tom Emmer said prominent Jewish Democrats 'essentially bought control of Congress.' And McCarthy himself accused Jewish Democrats of trying to 'buy elections,'" Omar said. "McCarthy's effort to repeatedly single me out for scorn and hatred-including threatening to strip me from my committee-does nothing to address the issues our constituents deal with. It does nothing to address inflation, healthcare, or solve the climate crisis."

RELATED: DFL Rep. Ilhan Omar wins 5th Congressional District reelection

Minnesota DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin called it a hateful political stunt.

Republicans won a majority of seats in the House of Representatives, flipping control of the lower chamber from the Democrats, but by a narrower margin than many expected heading into the midterm elections, according to CBS News projections. 

McCarthy, who was recently nominated by House Republicans for speaker, is poised to be assume the role when Republicans take control of the House in 2023. 

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