House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was expected to offer a privileged resolution to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from the Foreign Affairs Committee after her comments last week comparing the U.S. and Israel to the Arab terrorist organization Hamas, according to Punchbowl News.
That news came after McCarthy on Sunday retweeted a post by Mark Bednar that included video of Speaker Nancy Pelosi being interviewed on CNN.
"You can't make it up...
"Speaker Pelosi actually clarifies that she did NOT rebuke Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar's comparison of Israel & the United States to terrorist orgs Hamas & the Taliban.
"'We did not rebuke her.'
"'Congresswoman Omar is a valued member of our caucus,'" Bednar tweeted.
House rules allow certain House committees to bring specific categories of legislation to the floor for immediate debate.
Punchbowl News reported House Republicans, including Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., signaled their intent to press Democrat leaders on Omar’s comments by putting out a pair of letters Friday demanding the Minnesota congresswoman be stripped of some or all of her committee assignments, according to the Jewish Insider.
On Wednesday, a group of 12 Jewish House Democrats issued a statement blasting Omar for tweeting about "unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban," Punchbowl News reported. The lawmakers demanded she "clarify her words."
Omar on Thursday refused to apologize for her remarks.
"It’s shameful for colleagues who call me when they need my support to now put out a statement asking for 'clarification' and not just call.
"The islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive. The constant harassment & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable," Omar tweeted.
Omar later released a statement saying she was not making "a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel."
"I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems," Omar said, The Washington Post reported.
Republicans reportedly were considering forcing a floor vote on Omar this week, potentially to strip her of her Foreign Affairs seat or censure her.
"I certainly don’t think that option [is] off the table," Danny Javita, a spokesman for Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., told Jewish Insider, when asked if Gimenez would introduce or support such a resolution.
"Right now, we are focused on ensuring Speaker Pelosi holds herself to her own standards and holds Rep. Omar accountable."
Two groups of Republicans totaling 15 lawmakers sent letters to Democrat leaders urging them to reprimand Omar, the Jewish Insider reported.
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., spearheaded a letter addressed to Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., calling on them to remove Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee. The letter was signed by Stefanik, Gimenez, and Reps. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., August Pfluger, R-Texas, Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa., and Bill Johnson, R-Ohio.
Gimenez led another addressed to Pelosi calling for Omar to be stripped of all of her committee posts. Malliotakis, Salazar, Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., Fred Upton, R-Mich., Chris Jacobs, R-N.Y., and Young Kim, R-Calif., signed on to that letter.
Gimenez’s letter also accused Omar of "fueling antisemitic violence against Jewish communities" and argued that her Foreign Affairs slot "sends a dangerous signal to our allies and our adversaries alike that the United States tolerates anti-Semitism," according to the Jewish Insider.
During her interview on CNN, Pelosi said Omar made a "clarification" of her comments and the Democrats had no plans to punish Omar for her remarks.
"We did not rebuke her. We acknowledged that she made a clarification," Pelosi said. "Congresswoman Omar is a valued member of our caucus. She asked her questions of the Secretary of State. Nobody criticized those, about how people will be held accountable if we’re not going to the International Court of Justice. That was a very legitimate question. That was not of concern."
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