Vote on Removing Ilhan Omar Coming: Here's What McCarthy and the Tea Leaves Are Saying Now

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

The tide sounds like it’s shifted on the question of the vote to kick Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) off the Foreign Affairs Committee. While Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) could be kicked off the House Intelligence Committee at the will of the Speaker of the House because it was a select committee, because Foreign Affairs is a standing committee, getting Omar off requires a floor vote. There has been a question about whether or not they had the votes to be able to do it.


House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is now saying he thinks he has enough votes to kick her off the Committee.

Let us hope he can count better on this than he did when it came to the Speaker vote.

Rep. Victoria Spartz — who had been in the camp that had reservations about voting “yes” — is now in favor of the resolution since McCarthy agreed to add language that allows for an appeal and due process going forward.

Spartz said she appreciated McCarthy’s willingness to address concerns and add due process language to the resolution. She made the point that she was concerned about due process and potentially future votes that could be used against Republicans, “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.”

The other people who had been in that camp were Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) and Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC). Mace was supportive of keeping her on, even though Mace said she believed her to be anti-Semitic, which doesn’t make a lot of sense.


The House Rules Committee met on Tuesday night and then there will be a floor vote, likely on Wednesday.

A simple majority would be enough.

Now McCarthy may have the skinny on the vote, but two other folks were saying they hadn’t made up their minds yet, Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), although it sounds like Gaetz is saying he would give McCarthy “deference.” But he said he didn’t think that what Omar had done rose to the same level as what Schiff and Swalwell had done, which he felt endangered the country. “I’m glad we are focused on due process,” Gaetz said, saying he wanted to see the final language before deciding.

Interestingly, Omar cited the interview Gaetz gave on the subject.

I get some of the points he’s making but Omar also claimed that she wasn’t aware of the anti-Semitic tropes she used, including claiming she didn’t know that money is a Jewish trope. Does anyone truly believe that? And if she is that ignorant, then she’s the wrong person for that committee. I think Gaetz is right to be concerned about booting people because you don’t like them, but I also think there are other ample reasons to justify it here. I expect Gaetz will end up ultimately voting for the resolution.


Two thousand rabbis have also weighed in a letter to McCarthy saying to stand by his guns and remove Omar.

Here’s the technical way that it would be handled according to Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) would be to approve a resolution outlining each party’s committee picks and then bring up a separate resolution to strip Omar from her slot on the Foreign Affairs panel.


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