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Republicans Oust Rep. Ilhan Omar from House Foreign Affairs Committee

HeadlineFeb 03, 2023

On Capitol Hill, House Republicans have removed Minnesota Democratic Congressmember Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee after accusing her of antisemitism. Omar has been outspoken in her support of Palestinian rights and has repeatedly been accused by Republicans — and some Democratic leaders — for questioning U.S.-Israeli relations and criticizing the power of AIPAC and the Israeli lobby in Washington. Omar spoke from the House floor just before 218 Republicans voted to strip her committee assignments in Thursday’s party-line vote.

Rep. Ilhan Omar: “I didn’t come to Congress to be silent; I came to Congress to be their voice. And my leadership and voice will not be diminished if I am not on this committee for one term. My voice will get louder and stronger, and my leadership will be celebrated around the world, as it has been.”

Omar came to the United States as a refugee after her family fled civil war in Somalia. She’s one of the first Muslim women to serve in the House. Democrats accused Republicans of political retribution over the removal of far-right Congressmembers Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar from their committee assignments in the last Congress due to their violent and racist rhetoric. In 2021, Gosar became the first lawmaker to be censured in more than a decade for posting an animated video on social media where he murders Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacks President Biden. This is Ocasio-Cortez, speaking from the House floor Thursday. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “I had a member of the Republican caucus threaten my life, and you all — and the Republican caucus rewarded him with one of the most prestigious committee assignments in this Congress. Don’t tell me this is about consistency. Don’t tell me that this is about a condemnation of antisemitic remarks, when you have a member of the Republican caucus who has talked about Jewish space lasers and an entire amount of tropes, and also elevated her to some of the highest committee assignments in this body. This is about targeting women of color in the United States of America. Don’t tell me, because I didn’t get a single apology” —

Chair: “Time has expired.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: — “when my life was threatened. Thank you.”

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