House Republican leaders are prepared to hold a vote as soon as Wednesday to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Plans to move ahead on the vote come after compromise language was included in a resolution to strip her from the panel, causing Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) to drop her opposition to removing Omar from the panel.
In addition to Spartz, two more House Republicans — Reps. Nancy Mace (S.C.) and Ken Buck (Colo.) — had said that they would not support kicking Omar off the committee, creating a math problem for the slim House GOP majority that needs a majority of the whole house to remove Omar from the panel.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) said Tuesday night that Democrats still need to formally submit a resolution outlining their picks to populate the Foreign Affairs Committee. But assuming they do that on Tuesday evening or Wednesday, they are ready to bring up the resolution Wednesday, a spokesperson said.
The resolution released on Tuesday outlines a number of controversial statements from Omar, including some that Republicans say are antisemitic. Omar in 2019 apologized for some of her statements, including one suggesting that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee was buying political support, saying that she was unaware of tropes about Jewish people and money.
It also describes a process for a member to “bring a case before the Committee on Ethics as grounds for an appeal to the Speaker of the House for reconsideration of any committee removal decision.”
But Democrats said that the language did not formally create such a process because it was under the “whereas” section rather than the “resolved” section.
“Frankly, the notion this resolution has any due process is simply bullshit,” House Rules Committee ranking member Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said of the resolution during an emergency committee meeting to consider the resolution.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) said that the resolution, though, did more for Omar than Democrats did when they stripped Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) from committee assignments in 2011.
“It has a vanishingly small amount — almost an infinitesimally amount — of latent due process. But that’s more than the resolutions you all had,” Massie told the Democrats on the committee.
Spartz announced opposition to removing Omar from the panel last week, arguing that the decision to remove Omar, like the moves to remove Greene and Gosar, had no due process. But she dropped her objection on Tuesday due to the new language.
“I appreciate Speaker McCarthy’s willingness to address legitimate concerns and add due process language to our resolution. Deliberation and debate are vital for our institution, not top-down approaches,” Spartz said in a statement.
“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,” she added.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) on Tuesday said he’s still undecided on whether he will vote to remove Omar. Gaetz on Monday expressed concern about censorship of opposing views and suggested that Omar be subject to a House Ethics Committee review if there is reason to believe she has brought discredit on the House.
The technical process for removing Omar, Scalise clarified on Tuesday, 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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