On Thursday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) made good on his promise to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, citing her history of anti-Semitism. Of the 222 Republicans in the House, 218 voted in favor of the move, while three abstained and one, Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH), voted “present.”
In a speech on the House floor, McCarthy catalogued the numerous incendiary and bigoted remarks Omar has made in the past, including invoking anti-Semitic tropes, comparing the U.S. military to Islamic terrorist organizations, and dismissing the events of 9/11 as “some people did something.”
Notably, the speaker noted that the Minnesota congresswoman has “never apologized” for these comments.
McCarthy stressed that the decision to remove Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee wasn’t a retaliation from Republicans after Democrats ousted some of their members from all of their committee assignments.
“If it was tit for tat, we would have picked people, took them off all committees and said nothing about it,” McCarthy said.
The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) praised the move, saying in a statement, “For years, Democratic leadership has failed to hold Rep. Ilhan Omar accountable for her vile, hateful, and dangerous anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric. Today, Republicans, under Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s leadership, kept their promise to remove Rep. Omar from the prestigious and crucially important House Foreign Affairs Committee.”
“We are gratified that Rep. Omar will no longer be in a privileged position to influence legislation regarding US policy toward Israel and the Middle East,” the statement concluded.