Ilhan Omar: Republicans oust Ilhan Omar from US House High Level Committee | world news

WASHINGTON: United States House of Representatives Republicans ousted thursday Democrat Ilhan Omar of a high-level committee over remarks widely condemned as anti-Semitic, two years after Democrats removed two Republicans from committee assignments.
The deeply divided House voted 218 to 211 along party lines to remove Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee, with Republicans citing 2019 remarks for which she later apologized. A Republican voted “present”.
Omar, who came to the United States as a refugee from Somalia, is the only congresswoman of African descent and one of the only Muslim women in the House. She was in line to be the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs panel’s Africa subcommittee.
Shortly after the vote, Democratic House Leader Hakeem Jeffries made a countermeasure, announcing that he intended to nominate Omar to a seat on the budget committee “where she will defend Democratic values ​​against right-wing extremism”.
Republicans, who won a narrow House majority in November’s election after years as a minority, said they want Omar, a third-term House member, to leave Foreign Affairs over statements which included a 2019 tweet that read, “It’s all about baby Benjamins,” suggesting that supporters of Israel in American politics were driven by money rather than principle.
Benjamin Franklin, whose signature on the 1776 Declaration of Independence and the 1787 American Constitution earned him the reputation as a Founding Father, is depicted on the $100 bill.
During the debate, Republican Mike Lawler said, “Words matter, rhetoric matters. It hurts. The congresswoman is held accountable for her words and her deeds.”
Omar and other Democrats said such remarks were made years ago and that Omar deleted the posts and apologized at the time.
Moments before the House expelled him from the committee, a defiant Omar said: “My leadership and my voice will not be diminished if I am not on this committee… my voice will grow louder and louder. “
Omar has said in the past that US forces and those of other countries should be held to the same standards of accountability when their actions injure or kill civilians.
The ousting, led by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, was seen by Democrats as revenge for their 2021 vote to remove Republicans Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar from committee assignments after inflammatory remarks.
In 2021, Greene compared COVID-19 mask requirements and vaccinations to the Nazi Holocaust that killed 6 million Jews. She ended up apologizing. Prior to her election to Congress in 2020, she voiced unfounded conspiracy theories, including an anti-Semitic claim suggesting a space laser may have been used to deliberately start a California wildfire.
Gosar had posted a video on social media showing him appearing to kill fellow House member, Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Omar and Ocasio-Cortez initially comprised half of a group of progressive House Democrats elected in 2018 that became known as “The Squad” and included Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib. The movement has since grown.
McCarthy gave committee assignments to Greene and Gosar as well as George Santos, a newly elected representative who admitted to fabricating much of his resume, though Santos temporarily stepped away from those assignments while striving to clarify questions about its ethics.
Before the vote, Jeffries told reporters that Democrats condemned Omar’s “Benjamins” remark.
“There were accounts to be rendered. Ilhan Omar apologized. She said she would learn from her mistakes” and “build bridges” with the Jewish community. “It’s not about accountability. It’s political revenge.”
McCarthy previously rejected Democrats Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell’s assignments to the House Standing Select Committee on Intelligence. Both played a major role in the impeachment of former Republican President Donald Trump.


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