Kevin McCarthy: ‘Yes’ GOP Has Votes to Remove Ilhan Omar from Foreign Affairs Committee

Kevin McCarthy, Ilhan Omar
Alex Wong/Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said on Tuesday that he has enough Republican votes to keep Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN) off the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“Yes,” McCarthy told CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju when asked about whether the GOP has enough votes to keep Omar off the committee.

Before McCarthy secured the speakership, he pledged to remove Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) from the House Intelligence Committee.

McCarthy made good on a piece of his pledge earlier this month when he formally removed Schiff and Swalwell from their posts on the House Intel Committee.

However, as McCarthy moved forward with his attempt to oust Omar, he faced opposition from a few House Republicans who expressed concern over due process and the precedent it would set.

With a thin five-vote majority, just a handful of House Republicans could block McCarthy’s efforts to remove Omar from her committee post.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has expressed concern about McCarthy’s move. Additionally, Reps. Ken Buck (R-CO), Nancy Mace (R-SC), and Victoria Spartz (R-IN) publicly opposed the decision to remove Omar. House Republicans are also down one vote as Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) recovers from an accident.

However, Spartz agreed to support the resolution to remove Omar from the committee on Tuesday. Spartz’s change of heart occurred after McCarthy included language in the resolution to remove Omar that would allow members to appeal their removals from committees.

“As to my fellow conservatives, I think setting a precedent of allowing an appeal process for the Speaker’s and majority-party removal decisions is particularly important to freedom-loving legislators who usually are on the receiving end of issues like this,” Spartz said in a statement declaring her support of the resolution.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) also told Axios Tuesday that the GOP had secured the necessary votes to remove Omar.

McCarthy is seeking to remove Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee due to her past antisemitic remarks.

As the resolution states:

Whereas on February 10, 2019, Representative Ilhan Omar suggested that Jewish people and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) were buying political support, saying, “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby,” leading to condemnation from Republicans and Democrats alike for her use of an anti-Semitic trope;

Tuesday’s House Rules Committee meeting on the resolution to remove Omar is reportedly being held under “emergency,” procedures, which would allow the committee to “move in an expedited fashion,” Raju reported.

“It’s the first time they’ve done so this year,” Raju added.

The vote on the resolution to remove Omar from her committee post could take place as soon as this week, Axios reported.

Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter.


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