Democrats attacked the “Islamophobic” removal of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, shouting “No!” to the decision they blamed on racism, xenophobia, and “white supremacy,” as they accused Republicans of merely targeting a Muslim woman of color.
On Thursday, the House voted along party lines to remove the Somali-born Democrat from her seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee through a resolution citing her past remarks on Jews and Israel.
Omar closed the debate by noting her Muslim immigrant background, asking, “Is anyone surprised that I am being targeted?”
Ilhan Omar closes the debate and says, "this debate today is about who gets to me an American … I am Muslim. I am an immigrant … is anyone surprised that I am being targeted? … I am an American. pic.twitter.com/vKNzXXJSse
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 2, 2023
The vote passed 218 to 211, with all Democrats voting against the resolution and only one Republican, Rep. David Joyce (R-OH), voting “present.”
Democrats could be heard screaming “Nooo!” during the vote.
Democrats scream NOOOOOOOOOOO when voting against the resolution to remove Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs committee pic.twitter.com/AFqWuPM8Wf
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) February 2, 2023
The move follows Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s vow to do so last year, citing Omar’s “antisemitic” and “anti-American” comments.
Last year, I promised that when I became Speaker, I would remove Rep. Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee based on her repeated anti-semitic and anti-American remarks.
I'm keeping that promise. pic.twitter.com/04blBx3neD
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) November 19, 2022
In response to the decision, Democrats lost themselves in defending the Minnesota “Squad” member and condemning her removal.
“St. Louis & I rise in support of Rep. @Ilhan whose work on the Foreign Affairs Committee has made this institution a better place,” said fellow “Squad” member Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO).
“Rep. Omar has been repeatedly harassed by GOP Members for existing as a Muslim woman, & this resolution is yet another racist, xenophobic attack,” she added.
St. Louis & I rise in support of Rep. @Ilhan whose work on the Foreign Affairs Committee has made this institution a better place.
Rep. Omar has been repeatedly harassed by GOP Members for existing as a Muslim woman, & this resolution is yet another racist, xenophobic attack. pic.twitter.com/WMX8tE9PaA
— Congresswoman Cori Bush (@RepCori) February 2, 2023
Speaking at the debate, Bush accused Republicans of “waging a blatantly Islamophobic and racist attack” on Omar.
“The white supremacy happening is unbelievable. This is despicable … This is just a bunch of racist gaslighting,” she said.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called the move an extension of the “disgusting” post-9/11 legacy of the targeting of and racism toward Muslim Americans throughout the U.S.
“This is about targeting women of color in the United States,” she said.
"I had a member of the Republican caucus threaten my life and the Republican caucus rewarded him with one of the most prestigious committee assignments in this Congress."
Watch Rep. AOC respond to Republicans' removal of Rep. @Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/A22R7jQrlC
— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@RepAOC) February 2, 2023
Admitting that Omar “has, at times, used words that have caused concern, offense and even personal pain to me and others,” Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) defended her presence on the committee due to “the human capacity to learn from mistakes.”
Rep. Dean Phillips on Ilhan Omar: "She has never posted a video depicting herself decapitating and killing fellow members of Congress. She doesn't question whether a plane really crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11. She does not wonder if school shootings are staged." pic.twitter.com/8pd3b1tEvV
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 2, 2023
“Canceling @Ilhan is wrong, embarrassing, and the very weaponization of antisemitism that I, a Jewish person, find shameful,” he wrote.
“The highly partisan vote to remove @Ilhan was not about accountability. It was about political revenge,” wrote Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).
“I will move immediately to seat Rep. Omar on the House Budget Committee. Where she will defend Democratic values against right-wing extremism,” he added.
The highly partisan vote to remove @Ilhan was not about accountability.
It was about political revenge.
I will move immediately to seat Rep. Omar on the House Budget Committee.
Where she will defend Democratic values against right-wing extremism.
— Hakeem Jeffries (@RepJeffries) February 2, 2023
Breaking down in tears, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) emotionally decried that “our country is failing” Omar, accusing the GOP of “doing what it is best at: weaponizing hate against a black, beautiful, Muslim woman.”
So desperate to distract the American people from their total inability to govern, the GOP is doing what it is best at—weaponizing hate against a Black, beautiful Muslim woman. @Ilhan, I am so sorry that our country is failing you today. pic.twitter.com/Fryz1V8y0B
— Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (@RepRashida) February 2, 2023
“Don’t come here looking at us for antisemitism,” said Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA). “Look in your own damn mirror before you ever come over here.”
Hey MAGA-GOP— take a look in your own damn mirror before you come here looking for Anti-Semitism. pic.twitter.com/0vHv09i6QS
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) February 2, 2023
“I stand with @Ilhan. This revenge resolution is nothing more than a distraction from a Republican Party that has absolutely no real legislation to bring to the floor to help the American people,” wrote Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).
I stand with @Ilhan.
This revenge resolution is nothing more than a distraction from a Republican Party that has absolutely no real legislation to bring to the floor to help the American people. pic.twitter.com/WCVlqNpiyZ
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) February 2, 2023
“We will put her back on Foreign Affairs Committee in two years when we flip the House,” wrote Ted Lieu (D-CA). “Guaranteed.”
Reps Greene and Gosar were removed for threatening workplace violence. Rep Ilhan Omar did no such thing. She has does a great job representing her constituents, who re-elected her. We will put her back on Foreign Affairs Committee in two years when we flip the House. Guaranteed. https://t.co/ANTuzTi05U
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) February 2, 2023
“Removing Rep. @Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee is an incredible act of hypocrisy and cowardice from @SpeakerMcCarthy and the @HouseGOP,” wrote Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA).
Removing Rep. @Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee is an incredible act of hypocrisy and cowardice from @SpeakerMcCarthy and the @HouseGOP. https://t.co/ZKOdk40A2z pic.twitter.com/IQolDhfJaG
— Rep. Jim McGovern (@RepMcGovern) February 2, 2023
Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) accused Republicans of focusing on “petty political stunts.”
The American people elected us to solve problems— to strengthen Social Security & Medicare and lower everyday costs—but instead of prioritizing those issues, House Republicans are focused on petty political stunts like removing Rep. @Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee. pic.twitter.com/TuJkabd8WL
— Rep. Betty McCollum (@BettyMcCollum04) February 1, 2023
Omar has a history of controversy, having been accused repeatedly of being antisemitic and anti-American, including past statements accusing Israel of being an “apartheid regime” that has “hypnotized the world,” and claiming pro-Israel stances of politicians are “all about the Benjamins.”
“Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” ~ @Ilhan Omar@IlhanMN needs to stop her Jew hating tweets and comments. Period. #StopDemocratsAntiSemitism#PowaySynagogueShooting pic.twitter.com/5lB1Xopjo2
— Save American Small Business (@SaveUSASmallBiz) April 28, 2019
On Thursday, the House Speaker reiterated why Omar is “unfit to represent the U.S. on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”
Ilhan Omar's past statements make it clear she is unfit to represent the U.S. on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
– She repeatedly used anti-semitic tropes
– She described 9/11 by saying "some people did something"
– She compared America and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban pic.twitter.com/VnDIVtw5oV
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) February 2, 2023
In June, Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) blasted the “Squad” member, claiming she was unfit to serve in Congress, after the congresswoman equated the United States and Israel to Hamas terrorists and the Taliban.
“Omar is an antisemite who hates America and hates American troops,” he said. “She has no place serving in Congress.”
In 2019, then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) defended Omar, telling reporters that while Omar had made several anti-Jewish remarks, she had not been “intentionally antisemitic.”
On Tuesday, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) accused Omar of hating America “as much as Israel.”
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