House Boots Rep. Ilhan Omar Off Key Committee Over Anti-Semitic Remarks

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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The House of Representatives voted Thursday along party lines to remove Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee due to her repeated anti-Semitic remarks.

Omar, a third-term congresswoman from Minneapolis, faced immense criticism in 2019 over suggestions that American support for Israel is purchased and that American Jews “push for allegiance to a foreign country.” Left-wing Democrats later watered down a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, and Omar faced no further punishment. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has described the vote as payback for the removals of Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona from their committees during the 117th Congress.

218 Republicans voted in favor of the resolution, while all 211 Democrats voted against. Republican Ohio Rep. Dave Joyce voted present.

The resolution notes Omar’s tweeted assertion that American support for Israel is “all about the Benjamins,” which are distributed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). She faced bipartisan rebukes for her comments, although she later doubled down on them in a May bookstore talk.

“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is O.K. for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” Omar said. (RELATED: Dems Attempt To Show Unity After Delay Of Anti-Semitism Resolution)

Omar’s comments “have brought dishonor to the House of Representatives,” according to the resolution, and she “has disqualified herself from serving on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, a panel that is viewed by nations around the world as speaking for Congress on matters of international importance and national security.”

Some Republicans expressed misgivings about removing Omar from the committee, noting their own opposition to removing Greene and Gosar in 2021. Reps. Nancy Mace of South Carolina, Ken Buck of Colorado, Victoria Spartz of Indiana, and Matt Gaetz of Florida all suggested that it would be hypocritical for Republicans to remove Omar after voting to maintain Greene and Gosar’s assignments. All four ultimately voted in favor of the resolution.

The resolution also notes Omar’s 2021 comparison of the U.S. and Israel to the Taliban and Hamas, and her downplaying of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Omar accused Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy of “Islamophobia” and “racism” for initiating the removal process. She denied knowing that her comments were anti-Semitic during a Sunday CNN appearance.

“I wasn’t aware of the fact that there are tropes about Jews and money. That has been [a] very enlightening part of this journey,” Omar said. “To insinuate that I knowingly said these things when people have read into my comments to make it sound as if I have something against the Jewish community is so wrong.”