GOP takes first step towards removing Ilhan Omar from Foreign Affairs Committee

Republicans have accused the Minnesota Democrat of antisemitism

Eric Garcia
Wednesday 01 February 2023 21:40 GMT
<p>Congress Omar</p>

Congress Omar

The House of Representatives voted took a procedural step that would allow them to remove Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The House voted 218 to 209 on a rule that would allow for a vote to kick Ms Omar off the key committee. No Republicans voted against the measure.

Republicans have sought to remove Ms Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee over past comments that they have interpreted as antisemitic. In 2019, she tweeted that Republicans wanted to condemn her comments about Israel because “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby,” a reference to Benjamin Franklin being on $100 bills.

Ms Omar later apologised for her remarks.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had already removed Democratic Representatives Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell of California from the House Intelligence Committee.

The Speaker has the discretion to remove members of Intelligence Committee and supposedly removed Mr Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, in retaliation for Mr Schiff’s words during the investigation into ties between former president Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia.

Mr McCarthy also removed Mr Swalwell after Axios reported that a Chinese spy attempted to cultivate a relationship with the congressman over a number of years, even though Mr Swalwell reportedly committed no wrongdoing.

But the vote on Rep Omar comes after House Democrats had voted to remove Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona from their committees last year. All Democrats and 11 Republicans voted to remove Ms Greene for her history of racist, antisemitic and conspiratorial comments before her election to Congress in 2020.

Similarly, every Democrat and two Republicans--now former representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger--voted to remove Mr Gosar after he posted a video of the anime Attack on Titan wherein a character with his head photoshopped on killed a character with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s head photoshopped on. The House also censured Mr Gosar.

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