Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar criticized House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday for promising to strip a Democrat of her committee position if the new Congress elects him as House Speaker.
In an effort to secure GOP support for the top House leader, McCarthy has vowed to remove Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.). House Intelligence Committee.
McCarthy, along with several other Republican lawmakers, have said for months that the three Democrats should be removed from their committee because of past statements on Israel, China and Russia.
GOP House leadership: A poor GOP showing in the middle could prevent Kevin McCarthy from becoming speaker of the House
Omar backtracked in response to the GOP leader’s comments Monday a A statement released on Twitter.
“McCarthy’s continued efforts to single me out for contempt and hatred, including threats to remove me from my committee, do nothing to address the issues facing our constituents,” the statement said. “It doesn’t help with inflation, health care or the climate crisis.”
The Minnesota Democrat also accused McCarthy of amplifying hateful and dangerous rhetoric from GOP lawmakers targeting minorities, specifically naming Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Tom Emmer of Minnesota.
Emmer has previously been accused of anti-Semitism for the 2019 in a fundraising letter that said Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer and George Soros had “essentially bought control of Congress.”
Omar, a progressive, has been a frequent target of Greene and other hard-right conservatives, including Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado. Both lawmakers referred to Omar, one of the first Muslim lawmakers in Congress, as a member of the “Jihad Squad” and spewed other anti-Muslim rhetoric against Omar.
“At the same time, they have openly tolerated anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim hatred and racism within their party,” Omar said in a statement.
Omar has drawn criticism from Democrats and Republicans for her comments about Israel. in 2019 it sparked backlash with a tweet accusing Israel of “hypnotizing the world” and another criticizing the influence of pro-Israel lobby groups. She later apologized. Last year, about a dozen House Democrats accused her of comparing the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban on Twitter. Omar defended himself, saying she was not doing moral equivalence.
Race for the home speaker:Kevin McCarthy wants to block three Democrats from the committees if he becomes speaker
McCarthy is accused by some Democrats of going after three Democratic lawmakers to help the far-right faction of his party to garner enough votes to be elected speaker, according to some Democrats.
“I suspect he will do whatever Marjorie Taylor Greene wants,” Schiff said on ABC’s “This Week.” “He’s a very weak leader in his conference, which means he’s going to follow the wishes of the lowest common denominator. And if that lowest common denominator wants to remove people from committees, they will.”
McCarthy also promised to reinstate Greene and Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., to committees if he is elected chairman after the new Congress is sworn in — even hinting that lawmakers may get “better” assignments.
Such a step should be approved by the majority of the House. Republicans will be in control when January 3rd. a new Congress will be sworn in, but only with a few mandates.
House Democrats, along with 11 Republicans, voted last year to remove Greene from the committee for promoting violent rhetoric and conspiracy theories through previous inflammatory social media posts.
Gosar, one of the GOP’s far-right members, came under fire late last year after the lawmaker tweeted an anime video edited to show him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and attacked President Joe Biden. . The Democratic-led House also removed Gosar from its committees.