Ilhan Omar Suggests GOP Effort to Boot Her From Committee Is Racist


Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-OH) has an idea of why House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his caucus want her removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee: to appeal to Islamophobic and racist members of Congress.

The Democratic congresswoman appeared alongside Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) on Sunday’s State of the Union, where anchor Dana Bash pressed them on Republicans’ reasoning over their committee placements. On Tuesday, McCarthy used special House rules to reject Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ request to reappoint Schiff and Swalwell to the House Intelligence Committee.

He has since pushed for a full House vote to remove Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee—necessary under House rules—though three Republicans have since said they would vote against her ouster. The moves come after Republicans promised to enact revenge after Democrats removed Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) over racist comments and dangerous conspiracy theories the two had made.

Bash questioned Omar on the bipartisan condemnation of her past comments regarding Israel, which both Democrats and Republicans labeled as anti-Semitic. Bash addressed specific concerns over Omar’s suggestion that Israel had “hypnotized” the world had politicians who supported Israel did so for financial reasons—statements Omar had apologized for.

Omar repeated those apologies and suggested, as in the cases of Schiff and Swalwell, that McCarthy’s quest to oust her was rooted in political revenge.

“It is politically motivated,” Omar said. “In some cases, it’s motivated by the fact that many of these members don’t believe a Muslim, a refugee, an African should even be in Congress, let alone have the opportunity to serve on the Foreign Affairs Committee.”

“It sounds like you’re accusing Kevin McCarthy of racism,” Bash said.

“I’m not making any accusations. I’m just laying out the facts,” Omar said. She proceeded to reference comments Donald Trump made about her election; Greene’s repeated Islamophobic statements about Omar; and Rep. Lauren Boebert’s remarks to a crowd about how she was glad Omar didn’t “have a backpack” as they got on a Capitol elevator together.

“What did McCarthy do? He said, she apologized, and we don’t have to worry about her Islamophobia,” Omar said. “And so these people are OK with Islamophobia. They’re OK with trafficking in their own ways in antisemitism. They are not OK with having a Muslim have a voice on that committee.”

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