House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) pledged to strip Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) of her committee assignment should the GOP win back the House next term.
McCarthy blasted Omar during a Fox News interview on Tuesday morning and said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) should hold Omar accountable for her rhetoric and strip the Minnesota representative of her spot on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. McCarthy is pushing a resolution in the House to do just that.
The resolution is likely to fail, however, as Democratic leaders have moved to put out the fires started last week when Omar called for equal accountability for “crimes against humanity” committed by “the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.” Pelosi refused to condemn the remark.
“I will promise you this: If we are fortunate enough to have the majority, Omar would not be serving on Foreign Affairs, or anybody that has an anti-Semitic, anti-American view. That is not productive and that is not right,” McCarthy said.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy goes after Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN):
“I will promise you this: If we are fortunate enough to have the majority, Omar would not be serving on Foreign Affairs [Committee] or anybody that has an anti-semitic, anti-American view.” pic.twitter.com/aLUGsJfW2t
— The Recount (@therecount) June 15, 2021
Traditionally, each House caucus is responsible for policing its own members with little interference other than public criticism from the other side. Democrats violated the unspoken rule earlier this year when stripping Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments. Eleven Republicans sided with the Democratic majority in the vote.
After receiving bipartisan backlash for her remark, Omar put out a statement Thursday saying that she was not attempting to draw a “moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel.” Omar said she was only speaking of “ongoing International Criminal Court investigations,” though did not specify any.
Pelosi and other leading Democrats thanked her for the “clarification” and indicated that the caucus did not plan to take any disciplinary action against her. As The Daily Wire reported:
Pelosi and fellow House Democrats, including Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), issued their own statement in appreciation of Omar’s “clarification.”
“Legitimate criticism of the policies of both the United States and Israel is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate, and indeed, such criticism is essential to the strength and health of our democracies. But drawing false equivalencies between democracies like the U.S. and Israel and groups that engage in terrorism like Hamas and the Taliban foments prejudice and undermines progress toward a future of peace and security for all,” the group wrote.
“We welcome the clarification by Congresswoman Omar that there is no more equivalency between the U.S. and Israel and Hamas and the Taliban,” they said.
On Wednesday night, a dozen House Democrats put out a statement blasting Omar over her remarks.
“Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,” they wrote. “Ignoring the differences between democracies governed by the rule of law and contemptible organizations that engage in terrorism at best discredits one’s intended argument and at worst reflects deep-seated prejudice.”
“The United States and Israel are imperfect, and like all democracies, at times deserving of critique, but false equivalence give cover to terrorist groups,” they continued. “We urge Congresswoman Omar to clarify her words placing the U.S. and Israel in the same category as Hamas and the Taliban.”