Politics & Policy

GOP Lawmakers Look to Remove Ilhan Omar from Committees as Dems Attack Taylor Greene

House Republicans this week are looking to remove Representative Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) from her committee assignments amid a similar fight from Democrats to oust Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R., Ga.) from her assignments. 

Earlier this week House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer reportedly gave GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy an ultimatum: remove Greene from her committee assignments in 72 hours or Democrats will bring the issue to the House floor. 

Greene’s appointment to the House Education and Labor Committee and the House Budget Committee sparked outcry last week from Democrats who say that she should be disqualified from serving on the committee over a recently unearthed video of a 2019 incident in which she harassed a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, saying the survivor was paid by George Soros, as well as a 2018 Facebook post in which she agreed that the Sandy Hook and Stoneman Douglas shootings were “staged.”

McCarthy met with Greene Tuesday night and told her that she would either have to apologize or be ousted from at least one of her two committee assignments by GOP leadership to avoid a politically-fraught vote on the House floor, Politico reported.

The House is set to consider a measure this week that calls for Greene’s removal from her assignments. Meanwhile, according to Fox News, a proposed GOP-backed amendment the measure calls for Omar to be ousted from her assignments “in light of conduct she has exhibited.”

The amendment — sponsored by Representatives Brian Babin (R., Texas), Jeff Duncan (R., S.C.), Jody Hice (R., Ga.), Andy Biggs (R., Ariz.), and Ronny Jackson (R., Texas) — claims that Omar has made anti-Semitic comments that are grounds for dismissal. 

Omar drew criticism from colleagues on both sides of the aisle in February 2019 when she wrote, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” in response to a tweet about McCarthy’s promise to take “action” against her over her criticism of Israel. The “Squad” member later suggested that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee was paying politicians to take a positive stance on Israel.

She ultimately apologized and thanked colleagues for “educating [her] on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes.”

The move against Omar comes as Hoyer has said Greene “must be held accountable for her reprehensible statements.”

Greene, a freshman congresswoman, has taken on a controversial reputation over her belief in the QAnon movement, which claims, among other things, that former President Donald Trump and his allies are secretly working to expose a deep-state ring of child sex traffickers.

Last week she also came under fire after Media Matters unearthed a 2018 Facebook post in which Greene made unfounded claims about the cause of California’s wildfires. She alleged that the Rothschilds, a wealthy Jewish banking family that is frequently the subject of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, may have used a laser beam from space to spark a forest fire in order to profit from it.

A number of House Democrats have expressed support for both a formal censure against Greene and for her expulsion from the House.

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