Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), the Steering and Policy Committee for House Democrats, and the House Democratic Caucus as a whole have put forward Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-N.Y.) among Democrats’ picks for the House Foreign Affairs Committee, a Friday news release revealed.
This move defies threats from Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to pursue Omar’s removal from that panel. To accomplish that aim, he’d need to hold a vote in the House, like what the chamber conducted when removing Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) from committees in the last Congress — and it’s not actually a given that McCarthy would have the votes on his side to win. Time will tell.
Omar has faced wide-ranging criticism from Republicans ahead of the threats to her role in Congress with which she’s now confronted, including over accusations of what some deemed anti-Semitism (for which she apologized) and criticism of the foreign policy of the U.S. In the latter category, she once faced pushback after she happened to list terror groups like the Taliban with the U.S. and Israel. That was it. She didn’t say “the U.S. is no better than the Taliban” or something similar. She just listed them together in what she outlined was a discussion of the proceedings of the International Criminal Court, and she nonetheless faced scrutiny. Dems themselves also criticized Omar for some of her remarks.
Dems, though, obviously don’t tend towards the kind of rhetoric seen from House Republicans that is just totally disconnected from reality, like the comments from House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy about Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) supposedly representing some kind of national security threat because of years-old ties, which he quickly severed once warned by federal authorities, to a woman suspected of Chinese intelligence work. It’s unclear there was ever any breach of any sort associated with Swalwell’s connection to this individual, who is no longer in the U.S., but that hasn’t stopped the conspiracy theories. McCarthy blocked Swalwell and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a favorite target of Republicans, from service on the House Intelligence Committee. The specific procedural makeup of that panel meant he could do so without a vote. Even while pushing back against these Dems, McCarthy has proven accepting of serial liar George Santos, who it appears is under a federal criminal probe connected to his campaign finances.
Jeffries officially announces Rep. Ilhan Omar gets a spot on House Foreign Affairs, setting the stage for a contentious floor fight with House Republicans likely next week. GOP leaders think they'll have the votes to kick her off the panel. At least two Rs are expected NO votes.
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 27, 2023