House Democrats reacted angrily Wednesday after the GOP-led chamber removed Rep. Ilhan Omar from its Foreign Affairs Committee, claiming the move was motivated by “white supremacy” rather than the lawmaker’s previous anti-Semitic remarks.
“Republicans are waging a blatantly Islamophobic and racist attack on Congresswoman Omar, and I’ve said it before I’ll say it again: The white supremacy happening is unbelievable,” Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) said at a press conference after Omar (D-Minn.) was booted from the committee.
Six past statements by Omar were highlighted by the GOP to justify her removal, including one made during a 2021 committee hearing in which she compared Israel to terrorist groups Hamas and the Taliban.
The vote drew comparisons to Democrat-led moves in the previous Congress to remove Reps. Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) for their own harsh comments. When Republicans won the majority last month, they restored them to committees.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) of the Bronx and Queens, however, slammed the action as “racist and instigation of violence against women of color.” Omar, one of the House’s two Muslim women, was born in Somalia.
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“Don’t tell me this is about consistency; don’t tell me that this is about a condemnation of anti-Semitic remarks,” the firebrand Democrat said. “This is about targeting women of color in the United States of America.”
AOC also termed the decision a “continuation” of the “disgusting legacies left by 9/11… the targeting and prejudice of Muslim Americans across the United States of America.”
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), another member of “The Squad” of nine Democratic House members on the far left, appeared upset as she spoke in favor of Omar, telling her, “You belong on this committee.”
“Congresswoman Omar, I am so sorry that our country is failing you today through the chamber,” Tlaib said.
While House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) supported the proposal to remove Omar from the committee, he also stated that she was welcome to serve on other committees. He further denied that the decision was made as a “tit-for-tat” retaliation for the expulsion of Gosar and Taylor-Greene by Democrats.
“We’re not removing her from other committees; we just don’t think she should serve on Foreign Affairs, especially given the responsibility of that post around the world and your comments.”