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House votes to boot Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee after McCarthy wins over GOP holdouts with ethics promises

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota outside the Capitol on January 26, 2023.
Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota outside the Capitol on January 26, 2023.Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • The House voted on Thursday to remove Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

  • The move comes from a long-standing pledge by McCarthy — and a desire for retribution from the GOP.

  • The measure passed on party lines after McCarthy made promises to GOP holdouts.

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota has been removed from the House Committee on Foreign Affairs following a House vote on Thursday.

Republican Rep. Dave Joyce of Ohio was the one lawmaker who voted present on what was otherwise a party-line vote.

The passage of the measure came after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy won over a handful of Republicans who had voiced objections to the effort, including Republican Reps. Nancy Mace of South Carolina and Victoria Spartz of Indiana.


"For me, it's a matter of principle and a matter of conscience," Mace told Insider on Tuesday, saying there was nothing that could change her mind.

"Due process comes not just after something happens," Mace added. "It's actually — you should have due process, like an investigation, beforehand."

But by Thursday, following a meeting with McCarthy where she said she received a commitment to reforming the process for removing a member from committees in the future, she told reporters that she would vote for the resolution.

"I'm gonna support the vote today, I will be a yes," she said. "I received this commitment, we shook hands, we looked mano a mano in the eye, and I got this commitment from him.

Omar was defiant ahead of the final vote, delivering a floor speech that highlighted her background as a Somali refugee.

"There is an idea out there that I cannot have objective decision making because of who I am, where I come from, and my perspective," she said. "My leadership and voice will not be diminished if I am not on this committee for one term."

The resolution to remove Omar, sponsored by freshman Republican Rep. Max Miller of Ohio, lists a variety of comments that have "disqualified" the third-term congresswoman from serving on the foreign affairs panel.

They include Omar's infamous "it's all about the Benjamins baby" tweet, which suggested that American support for Israel was primarily based on money. Omar apologized for the comments at the time.

But the resolution also included more dubious reasons for her removal, including a quote about the September 11, 2001 attacks that was taken out of context and Omar's use of the term "apartheid state" to describe Israel.

Several human rights groups — including the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem — have used the term to describe the political situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Republicans also argued that Democrats set a precedent by initiating bipartisan votes during the previous Congress to remove Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona from committees over their violent rhetoric.

Read the original article on Business Insider