House passes resolution to remove Ilhan Omar from Foreign Affairs Committee


The Republican-led House of Representatives voted on Thursday to pass a resolution to remove Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar from the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee.

House Republicans have argued Omar should not serve on the committee in light of past statements she has made related to Israel that in some cases been criticized by members of both parties as antisemitic. Democrats have criticized the push to oust Omar, arguing it amounts to an act of political revenge and that the Minnesota Democrat has been held accountable for her past remarks. The party-line vote was 218 to 211. GOP Rep. David Joyce of Ohio voted “present.”

Omar was defiant in a floor speech ahead of the vote. “My leadership and voice will not be diminished if I am not on this committee for one term. My voice will get louder and stronger,” she said.

“So take your vote or not – I am here to stay, and I am here to be a voice against harms around the world and advocate for a better world,” the congresswoman said.

The action comes after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy officially denied seats on the House Intelligence Committee to Democratic Reps. Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff, the former chairman of the panel – a decision that was condemned by Democrats.

McCarthy vowed last year that if Republicans won back the House majority, he would strip Schiff, Swalwell and Omar of committee assignments, arguing that Democrats created a “new standard” when they held the majority by removing Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona from committees for violent rhetoric and posts.

House Republicans, now in the majority, have given Greene and Gosar committee assignments for the new Congress.

House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries on Thursday accused Republicans of “political revenge.”

He defended the move by Democrats in the previous Congress to vote Republicans off committee assignments, arguing that they incited violence against their colleagues.

“The line should be drawn when there are members of Congress who are actively threatening violence against colleagues,” Jeffries said, adding, “We take violent threats seriously because we’ve lived them.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar leaves her office at the Longworth House Office Building on February 2 in Washington.

In 2019, Omar issued a public apology after she faced a backlash for tweets condemned on both sides of the aisle. The apology came after the Minnesota Democrat faced widespread criticism after suggesting Republican support of Israel is fueled by donations from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a prominent pro-Israel group.

There have been other incidents as well: In 2021, a group of Jewish House Democrats accused Omar of equating the US and Israel with the Taliban and Hamas, the Palestinian militant group designated as a terrorist organization by the US. In response, Omar said that she was “in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries.”

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