Was Ilhan Omar ousted from committee as retribution?
Minnesota Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar was ousted from the Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday, with House Republicans citing concerns over past comments about Israel that many considered antisemitic
Rep. Ilhan Omar was ousted from the Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday, with House Republicans citing concerns over past comments about Israel that many considered antisemitic.
But many fellow Democrats and the Minnesota Democrat herself have questioned the validity of the claims and suggested that kicking her off the committee is retribution for Republicans who were dropped from committees when Democrats had the majority in the Senate.
In 2021, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., were kicked off committee assignments because of social media posts each of them made that referenced violence against Democrats.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., last week also eliminated two Democratic representatives from committees that don’t require a vote.
What does Ilhan Omar say about getting kicked off the committee?
“Is anyone surprised that I am being targeted? Is anyone surprised that I am somehow deemed unworthy to speak about American foreign policy? Or that they see me as a powerful voice that needs to be silenced? Frankly, it is expected because when you push power, power pushes back,” Omar said, per The Guardian.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., tweeted, “The highly partisan vote to remove @Ilhan was not about accountability. It was about political revenge.”
What does the move mean for Kevin McCarthy?
According to The New York Times, McCarthy’s decisions to remove the representatives from the committee, despite colleagues advising against it, “demonstrated his determination to ingratiate himself with the hard-right Republican base, which has made the Somali-born Ms. Omar a target for some of its most vicious attacks.”
What were the antisemitic comments Ilhan Omar made?
One of Omar’s comments in question that was considered to be antisemitic was a tweet that said:
“We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”
After the tweet, Jewish House Democrats issued a statement that said comparing the U.S. to the Taliban and to Hamas “is offensive as it is misguided,” the Times reported.
Omar issued an apology after the incident.
What do Republicans think about removing Ilhan Omar from the committee?
After the vote to remove Omar from the committee was approved, two House Republicans reportedly said that it was the “stupidest vote in the world,” and that it could make Omar into a “martyr,” Business Insider reported.
Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., said she supported the resolution to take Omar off the committee.
“I appreciate Speaker McCarthy’s willingness to address legitimate concerns and add due process language to our resolution. Deliberation and debate are vital for our institution, not top-down approaches,” she said in a statement, per CNN.