Jun 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

McCarthy vows to kick Ilhan Omar off Foreign Affairs Committee if GOP wins House

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) promised on Fox News Tuesday to kick Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) off of the Foreign Affairs Committee if Republicans take back the majority in the chamber.

Why it matters: McCarthy called Omar "anti-American" and "anti-Semitic" over recent comments on Israel that drew rebuke from colleagues, including some fellow Democrats.

What he's saying: "I think Nancy Pelosi should remove Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee," McCarthy said. "This is an individual that has not once but on numerous occasions been anti-Semitic."

  • "Her own entire Congress had to rebuke her in the last one. But she's not just anti-Semitic, she's anti-American now. She's equating America to Taliban, to Hamas. She's discrediting our greatest ally in the Middle East, Israel."
  • "I will promise you this. If we are fortunate enough to have the majority, Omar would not be serving on Foreign Affairs or anybody that has an anti-Semitic, anti-American view. That is not productive, and that is not right."

Context: A group of 12 Jewish Democrats in the House criticized Omar last week after she tweeted about "unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban," in reference to investigations by the International Criminal Court.

  • The group of Jewish Democrats issued a statement calling Omar's tweet "offensive" and asked her to clarify why she placed "the US and Israel in the same category as Hamas and the Taliban."
  • Omar in turn said the group's statement was "offensive" and filled with "Islamophobic tropes," but later clarified the original tweet, saying it was not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel, but was commentary on ICC cases.

Flashback: The House passed a resolution in 2019 by Democrats condemning antisemitism in response to comments on Israel by Omar.

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