Kevin McCarthy, who will probably be the next speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, has vowed to remove Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, for criticizing Israel.
He also said that the criticism she directed at him the previous year played a role in her looming removal from her position.
McCarthy, a Republican from California whose party recently secured a slim majority in the House, made the statement Saturday at the Republican Jewish Coalition conference in Las Vegas.
He continued, “I recall what she said about me.
“I still recall what she said about Israel. I recall what she said about the connection between the United States and Israel,” he remarked.
“I distinctly recall promising you that she wouldn’t be discussing foreign matters last year. There was a round of applause. “I’m maintaining that pledge.
Omar has demanded increased congressional scrutiny of the US-Israel connection.
Her criticism of the pro-Israel lobby has sparked accusations of antisemitism from some Jewish organizations, Republicans, and Democrats.
She has also appeared to, at times, invoke themes of Jewish control.
She also supports the boycott of Israel campaign (Omar has apologized for some but not all of the words that offended her).
In one of Omar’s most infamous tweets, she claimed that McCarthy’s support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins,” slang for $100 dollars.
She apologized subsequently.
McCarthy’s allusion to what Omar said about him may be a reference to her labeling him “a liar and a coward” last year after he failed to censure a Republican congresswoman, Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, for joking that she was afraid that Omar, a Somali American Muslim, carried a bomb.
In a rare action in 2021, Democrats, who were in control of the House, stripped Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee memberships, partly because she had previously embraced the violent conspiracy group QAnon.
The Democratic House speaker at the time, Nancy Pelosi, rejected McCarthy’s offer of compromise, which would have kept Greene on some committees while removing her from others.
McCarthy may be seeing a similar ending for Omar when he states that Omar “would no longer be on international affairs” and would not be barred from committees.
McCarthy did not care about antisemitism, according to Jeremy Slevin, Omar’s spokesman, who claimed McCarthy was merely trying to quiet Omar.
Last year, I promised that when I became Speaker, I would remove Rep. Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee based on her repeated anti-semitic and anti-American remarks.
I'm keeping that promise. pic.twitter.com/04blBx3neD
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) November 19, 2022