In a new statement, Rep. Ilhan Omar now accused House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of being “racist” and “xenophobic” in removing her from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Omar, who sits on the subcommittee on Africa, global health and global human rights, defended her position in a tweet, saying she was the “only African-born” member.
“As the only person born in Africa, not being part of the African subcommittee removes not just one unique voice, but all voices that have never been heard before in a committee on the continent,” Omar wrote.
“It’s racism, xenophobia and discrimination,” she added.
Schiff, Swalwell, Omar respond after spokesman McCarthy keeps them away from committee: ‘Political revenge’‘
Omar responded to those remarks on MSNBC’s “Yasmin Vossoughian Reports” on Sunday.
“I think it’s hypocritical [sic] Let him remove, you know, the first African born on the Foreign Affairs Committee’s subcommittee on Africa, where I had the opportunity to represent not only my constituents but many who had never been on the Foreign Affairs Committee,” Omar said.
Omar has previously described McCarthy’s decision as a political stunt, a blow to the integrity of the democratic system and a threat to national security.
House Democratic Leaders Predict ‘Bipartisan’ Support to Keep Ilhan Omar on Foreign Affairs Committee
McCarthy said he was removing Omar because of her controversial anti-Israel remarks in the past, emphasizing anti-Semitic tropes that upset many of her colleagues.
She once said, “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby” to explain why McCarthy criticized her for being against the Jewish state. She also drew backlash when she compared the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban.
As Speaker, McCarthy has the authority to approve committee appointments proposed by Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.
Republican members could vote to keep Omar on the committee, and at least two Republicans have expressed support for keeping her on the job.
Reps. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) and Rep. Nancy Mace (R., South Carolina) said they opposed her removal from the committee.
Ilhan OMAR’s long-running controversial statement
In addition to Omar, McCarthy also rejected the appointment of Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., to the House Intelligence Committee.
“Kevin McCarthy just kicked me and @RepSwalwell off the Intelligence Committee,” Schiff tweeted Tuesday. “It’s a paltry political payoff for investigating Donald Trump.”
“If he thinks it’s going to stop me, he’ll soon find out how wrong he is. I will always defend our democracy,” the Democrat added.
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The subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Global Human Rights previously included Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., chair of the 117th Congress; Sen. Christopher Smith, R-NJ; Issa and Greg Stuber, R-Fla., Dean Phillips, D-Minn., Ami Bera, D-Calif., Young Kim, R-Calif., Ronny Jackson, R-TX., Sara Jacobs, D-Calif., and others.