Republican Rushes To Defend Ilhan Omar

( Republicans in the House are working to secure enough votes to remove Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar from her assignment on the Foreign Affairs Committee.

The firebrand representative from Minnesota has been heavily criticized in the past for anti-Semitic comments she’s made, and for her overall denunciation of Israel.

Yet, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and GOP leadership in the lower chamber are still working hard to get enough votes to do so. They only have a slim majority in the House, and some Republican members are unwilling to vote Omar out.

One of those Republicans is Ken Buck from Colorado, who recently defended Omar. As he said recently:

“I think that we should not engage in this tit-for-tat. I have a little bit less certainty about Congressmen Schiff and Swalwell on Intelligence just because it’s a little bit different than a regular committee. But, I’m going to think through that and make a decision.”

Axios added to that report when the outlet reported that officials from Buck’s office said he “wouldn’t support the removal of Representative Omar” from her committee assignment.

Other GOP members of the House have said they were hesitant at best to support removing Omar. That put McCarthy and Republican leadership in a tenuous position, since they only have a slight majority in the House and can’t afford to lose many votes if they want Omar off her committee assignment.

On Tuesday, though, they got some good news when Indiana Representative Victoria Spartz said she would support the resolution that would remove Omar. Spartz was originally opposed to the idea, but changed her mind after the resolution added “due process language.”

In a statement, Spatz explained:

“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.”

After that announcement was made, McCarthy told reporters that he indeed had enough votes within the Republican Conference to remove Omar from her spot on the committee.

If Omar is removed, she will mark the third Democrat taken off committee assignments in the House. Democrats Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell – both of California – were removed from their assignments on the House Intelligence Committee.

McCarthy didn’t need a full vote to remove the latter two because the Speaker has final say for the members who sit on that panel. He had said that both of those representatives were unfit to serve due to Schiff supporting the Steele dossier and Swalwell having ties to a Chinese spy.

Before the midterm elections, McCarthy had promised retribution if the GOP were to gain control of the House. That was in response to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats removing Republican Representatives Paul Gosar and Marjorie Taylor Greene from their assignments on committees back in 2021.

In announcing his decision to block the appointments to the Intelligence Committee, McCarthy said it wasn’t political, insisting that “integrity matters” when it comes to a vital committee like that one.