February 8, 2023

McCarthy sees GOP defections ahead of expected effort to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar from House panel

Washington – As House Speaker Kevin McCarthy looks to follow through on his pledge to block Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar from joining the House Foreign Affairs Committee, it’s unclear whether he will succeed given opposition from some of his fellow GOP members.

McCarthy has long threatened to hold a referendum to deny Omar a seat on the board if the GOP wins a majority because of the past. His comments about Israel, which ranked Republicans and Democrats alike. But GOP leaders also see the measure as retaliation against Democrats who voted for repeal Two Republicans Theirs Group assignments Incendiary social media posts as they control the congregation.

Republicans now hold a narrow majority, and McCarthy can only secure four GOP defections to successfully secure the votes needed to keep Omar’s committee seats.

But already, two Republican lawmakers, Nancy Mays of South Carolina and Victoria Sports of Indiana, have indicated their opposition to McCarthy’s bid against Omar.

“Two wrongs don’t make a right,” Sports said in a statement. “Speaker Pelosi took unprecedented steps in the last Congress to remove representatives. [Marjorie Taylor] Green et al [Paul] Kosar from their groups without due process. “Speaker McCarthy is taking unprecedented action in this Congress to deny certain group reservations to minorities again without due process.”

Spratts cited votes in the Democratic-controlled House, which gained support from some Republicans, to remove Green and Kosar from their committee jobs. Both lawmakers have one each Got seats In two House panels in the new Congress.

Referring to previous votes targeting Greene and Kosar, Sparts said he opposed the “carrot” and urged McCarthy to “stop ‘bread and circuses’ in Congress and start governing for a change.”

A third Republican, Representative David Joyce of Ohio, told the Washington Post He said last week that committee work should be resolved “within each party’s boundaries” and that the votes against Greene and Kosar “create this vindictive issue for our conference.”

Further complicating McCarthy’s path forward is the absence of GOP Rep. Greg Stoub of Florida. House in Sarasota Recover from “several weeks”. 25 feet drop From a ladder.

when Proxy vote Last Congress allowed absent House members to enlist another lawmaker to vote for them, and McCarthy received a proxy by voting.

It was unclear when House Republican leaders could vote on removing Omar from the committees. McCarthy told reporters Tuesday that he had “no concern” about getting the necessary votes, and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise said Wednesday that Republicans have “no intention” of having Omar serve on the foreign affairs committee, and California Rep. Adam Schiff said. and Eric Swalwell sit on the Intelligence Committee.

“When people show a propensity to espouse anti-American, anti-Semitic views and do things that compromise themselves, including lying about classified information, that raises serious questions,” Scalise said.

Minority Council Leader Hakeem Gebris Knocked Schiff and Swalwell for the Intelligence Committee, but the Republican chairman plans to prevent Their appointments, since it is a selection committee, he can make unilaterally.

Omar told reporters on Tuesday that he had a “good standing” in the Foreign Affairs Committee. Besides Republicans who publicly protested his removal from the committee, several spoke to him privately and said they believed the move was “unfair.”

“They are trying to do what they can within their conference to make sure there is no vote to remove me from the Foreign Affairs Committee,” Omar said.

Omar drew contrasts between former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision last Congress to hold a vote to expel Green and Kosar from their caucuses and what McCarthy is now seeking to do.

“They threatened the lives of their colleagues. They endangered people who could serve on committees, the very institution they promised to protect,” he said. “If McCarthy can’t tell me, Adam Schiff, and Eric Swalwell how our colleagues are at risk, he’s not following the example set by Speaker Pelosi.”

Ellis Kim and Rebecca Kaplan contributed to this report