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March 30, 2023
House Republicans have removed Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MI) from her position Foreign Affairs Committee post due to previous remarks she made about Israel.
Democrats have rebuffed this and said that this is simply revenge for 2 Republicans being removed from a committee when The Democrats held the majority, these being Rep Marjorie Taylor-Green (R-GE) and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ).
“Is anyone surprised that I am somehow deemed unworthy to speak about American foreign policy?” Omar said prior to the vote.
“My leadership and voice will not be diminished if I am not on this committee … my voice will get louder and stronger,” Omar went onto say before the vote.
During debate, Republican Mike Lawler said, “Words matter, rhetoric matters. It leads to harm. The congresswoman is being held accountable for her words and her actions.”
Omar did apologise for her remarks.
House Democrat minority leader Hakeem Jeffries told reporters that Democrats had been critical of “Benjamins” remark.
“It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” hinting that Israel’s supporters in U.S. politics were motivated by money rather than principle.
“There has been accountability. Ilhan Omar has apologized. She has indicated she’ll learn from her mistakes” and was “building bridges” with the Jewish community. “This isn’t about accountability. It’s about political revenge.”
The vote largely towed party lines with 218-211 voting for her to be removed.
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, who led the campaign of Omar to be removed, denied the decision to remove Ms Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee was a “tit-for-tat.”
“We’re not removing her from other committees,” he told reporters. “We just do not believe when it comes to foreign affairs, especially with the responsibility of that position around the world, with the comments that you make, she shouldn’t serve there.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: THE BOSTON GLOBE